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In Mexico, Hawaii, and the
H y Doctor John Hunter
La Feria, Texas.
Copyright Applied For.
All Rights Reserved
In Mexico, Hawaii, and the
-T ( ^\
By Doctor John Hunter
La Fern, Texas.
Copyright Applied For.
All Rights Reserved
1. Prefatory 1
2. A Costly Mule 3
3. In a Catacomb of Kings 6
4. A Joke on a Man in Love 9
5. A Bear Hunt 11
6. The Haunted House of Hawaii 13
7. Talpa, A Sacred Shrine in Mexico 16
8. A Buffalo Hunt 21
9. A Runaway Horse 22
10. Asleep On a Coffin 23
11. In a Robbers' Hut 24
12. In a Dissecting Room 28
13. The Horse Laughed 30
14. At the Crater of Mauna Loa 33
15. A Kangaroo Court 36
16. The Doings of Spooks 39
17. Dr. John Hunter as a Minister 41
18. A Moon-Eyed HorseAliLpL^.^ 45
19. Surgery in the •t)ar£---l__J-V.J_!l_:.*^jL 46
20. Marooned.%_-:__ _*_ 49
21. A Brush WitVfo^iai^ .-..^.^v--V~ --« 51
22. A Sacrificial Cfreh£l„L'^l-- m X^^—- 53
23. Courting in a Fish Pond 55
24. Kilauea — Asleep in a Crater 57
25. A Joker Punished . 61
26. In An Earthquake Crack 62
27. In a Texas Cave 65
28. A Timid Groom 67
29. The Hawaiian. The Missionary 70
30. The Pathfinder . 74
31. Hunting in Trees 76
32. A Fishing Party • 77
33. A Storm at Sea. On the Yaqui River 78
34. Intimacy With a Ram . 84
35. Mexican Priests 85
36. A Mozo. A Case in Court 91
37. An Hawaiian Rain God 94
38. Medicine in the Mexican Sierras 95
39. A Stage Robbery 99
40. Revolutionary Robbers 101
41. Dynamite 104
42. Looking Into Mauser Rifles 105
43. Rescuing a Mine Manager . 106
44. A Suggestive Note 108
45. An Eventful Night 110
46. Things Are Not What They Seem 112
47. Poisoned While Crossing the Mexican Sierras 114
48. Farm Food and Filth 118
49. Mexican Bailes or Balls 121
50. Social Conditions in Mexico 1 124
51. The Vera Cruz Episode. New York to Texas. 128
52. Mexican Opinion 132
53. Major in the Mexican Army , 134
54. A Visit to a "Chiro" 139
55. At a Doctors' Banquet in the Rio Grande Valley 141
Please do r
book or turn down tie p£
Many times I have related to friends the experiences of
my nomadic career, and invariably they have insisted that
my stories be published in book form. While such was
never contemplated, I am yielding to the oft-repeated re-
It is not necessary to state further concerning my origin
than that I sprang into existence through old Eve's gener-
osity in dividing her apple with Adam. Had she not mani-
fested her unselfish passion these incidents would never
have been penned, because old Adam would yet be a bliss-
fully ignorant celibate basking in the shadows of Eden
Hearsay evidence is not admitted in a court room, and
is not dependable under other circumstances; however, it
is not a questionable assertion to say that I was born some-
where at some time, but whatever else I might say regard-
ing the event would be but hearsay because it is certain
I have no personal recollection of the affair.
I have been frequent told that my old negro nurse said
at the time of my birth, "Dat chile sure is born under de
onlucky star," and whether it was believed then or not, time
and facts have taught me to respect her as a creature whose
name should be enrolled among those of the great astrono-
Since my earliest recollections of youthful days on the
Brazos River in Washington County, Texas, there has never
been a year during which I did not incur some accident
which I cannot forget. My venturesome disposition led me
frequently into grief. Many times I have been seriously
injured by runaway horses, maddened cattle and vicious
dogs. I have almost constantly carried some part of my
anatomy in a sling, or under bandages or splints of some
kind. Three times I have been rendered unconscious by
accidents. Before I had reached the age of 21 I had been
twice stabbed and three times shot accidently, and at this
writing I am on crutches, the result of an automobile acci-
I have had a broken arm, a fractured cheek, a dislocated
wrist, a sprained ankle and a broken heart, from the latter
of which I have never recovered.
My youthful days were spent in hunting opossums with
"Coons," playing pranks on teachers at little red school
houses and carrying out in part the directions of a doctor.
At the age of 16 I left home and earned the price of
scholastic and medical information, having acquired creden-
tials at Bellevue and Atlanta. I adopted the medical profes-
sion because of a desire to emulate my illustrious father,
which, in many particulars, I have failed to do.
My father organized a regiment over which he presided
as Colonel during the war between the States, and I was
a kettle drummer for my father at the age of 10 years. He
devoted fifty-six of the best years of his life to the practice
of medicine, and I have already given more than fifty, hence
we have given in the aggregate more than one hundred and
six years to suffering humanity. It is safe to say one-third
of that time has gone to charity; one-third to those who
could but would not pay, and the remaining third to those
who paid us money we could not keep. I was born with
a silver spoon in my mouth, but the Civil War converted it
I have filled many offices in medical societies, varying
from secretary to president. At one time I was Chief Sur-
geon of a Government hospital in the Islands of Hawaii.
I was a Lieutenant in the United States Public Health Serv-
ice, and Major in the Medical Corps of the Mexican Federal
Army in time of war. The only injury sustained during the
latter war referred to, aside from insulting my stomach with
frijole beans and billy-goat bakes, was a wound upon the
back of my hand which has left a permanent scar. There
was a shortage of saddles, as well as food, and I was pro-
vided with a buggy, perhaps with malice and aforethought,
as I was not notified that the buggy was drawn by a beau-
tiful mare that would run away every time she passed down
an incline. The road led down a steep grade at an approach
to the San Juan River, and as soon as the breeching became
taut upon her haunches she began to run. Not only did she
run; she kicked at every jump.
I could see the water straight in front of me and I was
sure I was going to be baptized in the name of the Republic
of Mexico. But the road made a sharp turn just at the
water's edge and there the mare left me. The buggy was
turned upside down and formed a canopy which protected
my prostrate form from the big raindrops which fell from
a drifting cloud.
When the buggy was lifted I promptly gained my feet,
and though my hand was aching intensely, I congratulated
myself on not having been forced into an open-air bath at
midnight in December.
A few nights later, while escaping the enemy with our
hospital on wheels, I found two eggs at a Mexican hut and
I bought them at a price of 25 cents each. It was during the
second night of an almost foodless thirty-six-hour fight,
hence the eggs were a great find. I ate one of them and
gave the other to Colonel Perez. He very courteously re-
turned it to me, saying, "One egg will do neither of us any
good, so you eat them both." I put it in my pocket, but
through fear I would break and lose it I cracked off the shell
at one end and though I could not see what I was doing
I poured it down my throat. I nearly choked. I recognized
the difficulty and I tried to catch the chick by the tail, but
it slipped through my fingers. Since that time I eat no
eggs in the dark.
I have practiced medicine in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee,
New York City, Texas, the Hawaiian Islands and a number
of places in Mexico. My many changes of base will, in a
measure, account for the unusually checkered experience
I have had.
I have not abandoned the profession, as many of my
friends have done, because of a love of it and the pleasure
of doing good to others, that to which a third of my life has
been devoted. I yet have a hope of meriting the simple
epitaph, "An Ethical Physician."
In granting friendly requests I have reduced to writing
a few of the many incidents of my life, without regard to
rotation, and they are published accordingly. They have
been written in plain truth, without the slightest intention
or desire* to emboss, embellish or be funny. They were
intensely interesting to me at the time they occurred, and
they are published with the modest hope that they will prove
entertaining to at least some of those who may read them.
Experience has forced me to credit the assertion, "Truth
is stranger than fiction."
"A COSTLY MULE"
In the State of Sinaloa, Mexico, a Mexican peon brought
me a specimen of ore which assayed thirty dollars gold and
twenty dollar silver to the ton. Of course that made it a
very desirable buy, and the man urged me to buy it outright,
but knowing the wily peon as I did I preferred a personal
inspection first. A price was agreed upon in case the pur-
chase proved advisable, and a day was appointed upon which
to meet the peon at the Fuerte River, which flowed quite
near the peon's home.
Armed with a rifle, a pistol, a pack mule and a peon, I
started on my first trip as a mine seeker. At the end of
the first day I reached the river at the point agreed upon.
It was a regular crossing, but was for the time abandoned
as it was the wet season, during which all water courses
are too full to be forded.
On the bank of the river there was a house which had
been built by the Jesuits. It was a long, one-story building
of several rooms all in a row. Like most houses of adobe,
it had a dirt roof and a dirt floor. The house was con-
structed several hundred years ago and was leaky and dan-
gerous from age. Several Mexicans and Indians, who eked
an existence through handling cattle, resided in it.
Jesus Angelo was the name of the man who was to meet
me at that place, .and when he was inquired after the eldest
of the inhabitants replied, "El va venir pronto." (He will
About every half hour I repeated my inquiry, and invari-
ably received the same reply.
The sun was sinking in the western horizon and I was
growing anxious. Fearing I would not see Jesus Angelo
that night, I sent one of the Indians after him. The fellow
went away mounted on a mule of his own and he disappeared
in a sweeping gallop. The mule galloped, but what mule
would not gallop under similar circumstances? He was a
misareble, dejected specimen, but he yielded to the influence
of a pair of spurs which weighed about two pounds each
and supplied the animation.
Just before dark all of the other men mounted horses
and rode away without giving any explanation of their
actions. They simply locked the doors and rode away, leav-
ing me in possession of the veranda and a rawhide cot upon
which to spend the night.
At 10 o'clock the Indian courier had not returned, and
notwithstanding I was still more uneasy, I removed my
clothing and went to bed.
About midnight I dreamed the men I had seen ride away
had returned to rob or kill me. At that selfsame moment
I was aroused by a terrible clatter of horses' hoofs, and
horsemen made a wild rush upon the veranda. Suddenly
the noise ceased, and a deathlike stillness was more appall-
ing than the noise had been. Still somewhat dazed from
the deep sleep from which I had been so ruthlessly aroused,
I raised my head from the pillow and looked around me. I
saw a large number of men standing upon the veranda
within thirty feet of my cot, and the natural inference was
that they had returned in fulfillment of my dream.
Wishing to make no mistake I hailed them, but under
the excitement of the moment I addressed them in English
and there was no reply. Without further hesitation, and
without leaving the cot, I raised upon my elbow and fired.
The sharp crack of the rifle and a writhing upon the floor
told an unmistakable story, and the men scattered like
I had selected one of the objects as my target, hoping to
get more than one with my first shot as they appeared sev-
eral deep and my rifle was of great penetration.
Not only did the men run in different directions, but
they yelled like goats under the knife. With one accord
they exclaimed: "Estamos amigos! Estamos amigos!"
(We are friends! We are friends!) The voices sounded as
though emanating from a thousand throats, but in reality
came from but two.
The Indian courier and Jesus Angelo were drunk. They
had rushed upon the veranda, dismounted and stood by the
heads of their mules, and every mule, tree trunk and post in
the neighborhood seemed to be a man on the veranda.
The mule owned by the Indian had received a bullet
through its brain as it stood by the side of its drunken mas-
ter, and now laid stiff in death upon the floor.
Of course the mule had to be paid for, and being dead
its value was much enhanced. One hundred and fifty dol-
lars for a thirty-dollar mule was extortionate, but to con-
tend in the courts would entail untold difficulties. On the
following morning the price of the mule was paid and the
The supposed mine could never be found. The peon had
simply indulged in the favorite pastime of his ilk, deception.
Four days of hard riding, and the privilege of paying for
a dead mule, was all I reaped for my venture.
"IN A CATACOMB OF KINGS"
Tradition has long told of a cave in Hawaii which was
reserved for the bodies of Kings and such men as fell in
wars. No one seemed to know of the real existence of the
cave, yet everybody talked about it.
I gained the confidence of many of the older Hawaiians,
and from one of them learned there was such a cave and
I was told the history of it.
Only three persons at any one time were permitted to
know the facts concerning it. My informant was one of
the three existing at that time. At the death of any one
of the three the remaining two would select another and
swear him by a terrible oath never to take anyone to the
cave, or divulge any of its secrets without the knowledge
and consent of the others. For any violation of the oath
the violator was bound to enter the cave and there starve
himself to death amid the bones of those who had preceded
him. After this, they would take a new member to the cave
and introduce him to its mysteries. In this way the knowl-
edge of the cave has been perpeuated from a time which
pre-dates the knowledge of man.
Learning the names of the other two men who were in
possession of the secret, I invited them to meet the inform-
ant at my home. I entertained them into the wee small
hours of the night when everyone else was asleep. I filled
them with beer and champagne until they were in a good
humor and a communicative mood.
Before they had left the house I had bribed them into
a promise to take me to the cave. I was cautious to see that
they were not too drunk to know what they were saying,
or would forget what they had said.
It was agreed the trip would be made at night and I was
to be blindfolded, kept so until within the cave, and must
go under penalty of death should I ever violate the fearful
oath I would be required to take. In all of this I readily
acquiesced and the Hawaiians left the house, but without
having appointed a time for the visit to the cave. I was
simply to await the will of the three.
It was 12 o'clock on a dark, drizzly night that they came
and they lead a riderless horse. I was hoodwinked and
the oath administered. Then I was assisted to the saddle
and we rode away, mounted upon four Kanaka ponies which
weighed about seven hundred pounds each. The horse rid-
den by me was lead by one of the Kanakas. I was not per-
mitted to take the reins in my hands.
They made a long and tortuous route to confuse me on
direction, and in this they succeeded beyond a doubt. It
was certain we traveled every point of the compass — a fact
proved by the wind, which struck us at times on the back,
in the face and on the side.
They wound and twisted through fields of blooming cane,
the bright tassels of which bobbed and nodded in the breeze
like so many spooks, lending assent to the wierd undertak-
ing. They climbed through rocky gulches, passed through
dense forests and crossed prairies of well-grown grass.
Finally they came to a stop in what I supposed was an open
prairie, and I was told to dismount.
The natives tied the animals to the tall grass, as only
natives can do, and they led me a short distance away on
foot. Then we went down through a hole in the rocks which
was barely large enough to admit the body of an oversized
After we had felt our way a few feet down in the dark-
ness they exacted a renewal of the oath, removed the hood-
wink from my eyes and lighted several candles.
I was in a rather uncomfortable position, because neither
of the natives could speak English and I was not able to
comprehend all that they said. They seemed not much more
than half civilized, and I was entirely at their mercy. How-
ever, I knew they had a profound respect for a medical man
and this nerved me through the task.
The passageway turned to the right and to the left as
it wound its way down. Pretty soon we entered a large and
commodious apartment. The floor had been leveled and
roomy shelves had been cut in the walls. The shelves ex-
tended, one above the other, clear up to the ceiling and ran
all around the room from one side of the entrance to the
It was the old Hawaiian custom to place bodies of the
nobility in the cave stretched out to full length. All others
were bound up in a heap with ropes made of native fiber.
Thus it was an easy matter to determine the former stand-
ing of a man by the position in which his bones were found.
The bones of royalty were stretched upon the shelves and
the others were piled upon each other in the center of the
The bones upon the shelves were accompanied by spears,
stone adzes, battleaxes and many other implements used by
the individual in time of tribal war. There were also many
other things of interest in the cave, such as calabashes, poi
beaters, hair necklaces and feather cloaks, many of which
were in decay. There is but one specimen of these cloaks
in existence today which is in a perfect state of preserva-
tion. It is in the Bishop Museum at Honolulu and is valued
at one million dollars. They were worn only by royalty and
cost the labor of years in accumulating the feathers of which
they are made. There was a tiny little bird in the islands,
now extinct, which had but two yellow feathers, one in each
wing. Of these little feathers the cloaks were made, so it
can readily be seen how many thousands of the innocent
little creatures are represented in each cloak.
The necklaces were made of hair, cut many times, from
the heads of women killed by order of the King on account
of the wealth of their hair. They consist of braids braided
into braids. They begin with three strands of hair to the
braid and end in a braid two to three inches in diameter,
finishing a work of great ingenuity. All of the stone arti-
cles were in a state of perfect preservation and were perfect
specimens of Hawaiian handiwork which spoke volumes for
the genius of the untutored savages who constructed them
with implements of their own make.
There was a passway leading around the circular space
in the center of the room. This center was piled high with
human bones. There were bones of hundreds of braves who
had died in battles fought, many times, for very trivial
I was told the coat in which Captain Cook was killed had
long been a bone of contention among the tribes; that its
possession was looked upon as a mark of distinction and
many a hard battle had been fought on account of it. A
noble-hearted chief once won it at the cost of half of his
following. It had been always understood that the first man
who died in the Cook coat should be buried in it, and thus
put a stop to tribal strife on account of it. Accordingly, this
man of peace, who had won it in battle forced upon him,
wore it into the cave and starved himself to death in it in
order to stop the carnage which resulted from its possession.
The sheen of the brightly polished walls and shelves daz-
zled my eyes even in the dim candlelight. Upon one of the
shelves as low down as a man's waist there was a gleam of
brightness emanating from a few small spots much brighter
than the rest. Upon inquiry I was told the sheen came from
the spot where the chief had died in the Cook coat. I moved
over to that particular shelf and was promptly told to feast
my eyes, but was warned not to touch anything that I saw.
The shining objects were the gold buttons of the Cook
coat, and were the only parts of it which had not long since
passed into decay. Believing that I had a greater right
to the possession of these buttons than the Hawaiians I
watched for an opportunity, attracted the attention of the
three men to another object, and placed two of the buttons
in my pocket. I knew there was a hole in the pocket and
that the buttons would slip down into my boots and not be
found if I was searched on leaving the cave. I firmly be-
lieved I would be searched, but my suspicions were ground-
When I announced my readiness to leave the cave I was
returned to my home in the manner in which I had been
taken away, and the hoodwink was removed after I had
dismounted and was within my own gate.
Cufflinks were made of the buttons and worn in memory
of Captain Cook and the cave.
"A JOKE ON A MAN IN LOVE"
My first practical joke was played when I was 10 years
There was a young man named Wilkins who resided
near our home. He had incurred the ill will of all the
younger members of my family, through no other offense
than his infatuation for Miss Mitchell, who was my cousin
and resided with us.
Mr. Wilkins was a frequent visitor and came at stated
intervals, so it was easy to prepare for him.
One night, immediately before his arrival, I moistened
the palm of my right hand and wiped it across the back of
an open fireplace, thoroughly smearing it with soot. Then
I placed myself behind the front door where I would be in
readiness to open it before a servant could respond to the
When I heard the young man walk up to the steps my
heart nearly bounded out of my bosom, and my breath came
quick and short. I almost lost faith in my ability to carry
out my plans, but I buoyed myself to the task and opened
the door. I shook hands with Mr. Wilkins and invited him
into the parlor.
Mr. Wilkins had the habit of rubbing his open palms
together and then drawing them, first one and then the
other, over his cheeks. So he was not long in spreading
the soot handed him at the front door.
His presence was announced and when Miss Mitchell
entered the parlor and spied the black face she almost
screamed. She came to a sudden halt, then began to step
backward. Wilkins advanced to shake hands, but she trem-
blingly maintained her distance. This surprised Wilkins
and he discontinued his advance. But she did not stop.
She continued the backward step until the door was reached
and she sprang through it and was gone.
Thinking Wilkins was drunk, she ran upstairs as fast
as she could go and informed my father of the situation.
To be drunk in those days, particularly in the presence
of a lady, was an unpardonable sin. Nearly all Southern
gentlemen took their toddies and mint juleps, but one who
drank to excess did so under the pain of social ostracism.
Wilkins was now in a dilemma and was mystified. He
was greatly confused by the strange action of the girl, for
he was entirely ignorant of the ludicrous spectacle he pre-
sented. Both sides of his face were about as black as soot
could make them, but he was unconscious of it. But I was
reaping the pleasure of my trick. I had placed myself at
a window on the veranda, where I was convulsed with
In the center of the room Mr. Wilkins stood, perfectly
bewildered. And he was still spreading the soot when my
father walked into the room. Addressing Mr. Wilkins, he
said: "I am sorry I have mistaken you for a gentleman.
Leave this house immediately and never dare to return until
you have satisfactorily apologized for your conduct. Go!"
"I do not understand this, Doctor Hunter. What have
I done to merit such treatment?"
"How can you ask such a question, you shameless in-
grate? Turn your face to that mirror and explain, if you
Wilkins approached the mirror, which he had not before
observed, and learned his true condition. He was so aston-
ished he was for a moment dumb. He knew some terrible
accident had occurred, but just when or how, he knew not.
The confidence of innocence nerved him and he convinced
my father he was neither drunk nor drinking, nor was he
responsible for his condition. This being the case, he was
given an opportunity to arrange his toilet as best he could
with soap and water.
But this is not all that happened to Wilkins that night.
There were others out for fun, but neither had confided in
From the roof of the house one of my brothers gave Wil-
kins a shower bath as he walked from the veranda. It
was with soapsuds from a large sausage stuffer which held
about a gallon.
When he got into his buggy he sat in a pool of indelible
ink, which had been poured upon the cushion by another
brother. Still another brother had driven tacks, points for-
ward, in the breeching of the harness, and Wilkins wondered
why his lazy old horse was so anxious to get home.
,There was one short, steep hill in the road and there
Wilkins and his horse parted. When the breeching im-
pinged upon the old nag's haunches in holding the buggy
back the tacks were driven into his skin. He twisted him-
self from side to side, revolved his stubby tail in a circle a
time or two, kicked the body to pieces and disappeared.
Two hours later Mr. Wilkins walked into his father's
house holding his lower jaw in the palm of his hand, while
elephantine tears rolled down his muddy cheeks.
He never came back.
"A BEAR HUNT"
I was sitting in a boat at the edge of a river quietly
awaiting at what was known as the "bear crossing." Dogs
and men were in the swamp on the other side of the river
with the hope of driving out a bear and of making him
cross the river where I was stationed.
. Long before a dog was heard a large bear entered the
river quite near the boat and attempted to swim over to the
swamp. As might have been expected, the negro whom I
had taken along to row the boat was asleep, and the chase
was, in consequence, delayed. However, when the fellow
was awakened he plied the oars with such vigor the boat
rapidly gained upon the bear. When within fifty feet of the
animal I took deliberate aim at the creature's head and
fired. The bear shook his head, splashed the water with
his feet and head and made greater efforts to reach the
"Hole on, boss," said the negro. 'Tse gwine ketch um.
Hole on till you gits close up to um and den shoot again."
It was evident the negro had but little confidence in my
marksmanship, as I had failed to kill the bear at the first
shot, as I was expected to do.
A few moments brought the boat within five feet of
the brute's head, and I took aim and pulled the trigger. But
the gun snapped. The boat was now nearly touching the
bear, and it was time for quick action. The breech of the
gun was opened to remove the empty shell and the cartridge
which had failed to fire, but neither could be done. The
shells were of brass and had stuck hard and fast from
A moment more and the bear had hold of the boat. His
ugly paws held fast to the side of it, and it was evidently
his intention to climb in. As the gun was of no further use,
other means of defense had to be devised, and quickly at
I laid the gun down in the bottom of the boat, picked
up an oar and dealt the bear a terrific blow upon the head.
The oar glanced from his thick skull and he caught it in his
mouth. I expended my entire physical strength pulling at
the oar, but I could not break the grip of the strong- jawed
brute. I continued a steady, hard pull, and at a moment not
suspected the bear opened his mouth and I went heels over
head into the water on the opposite side of the boat. As
I arose to the surface I caught hold of the boat just opposite
the bear, and we stared each other in the eye as each tried
to get into the boat first.
It is well known to swimmers that when holding to the
side of the boat in the water there is an almost irresistible
tendency of the feet to go up against the bottom of the boat.
It is evidently the same with a bear, because the long,
sharp claws of that bear were soon fastened in the bottom
of my pants legs under the boat. I could not get them
away, so I just unbuttoned my pants at the waist and let
the bear have them.
During these interesting moments I was appealing to
the negro to kill the bear. "Kill him, Bill ; kill him quickly
or he will get us. Kill him with the anchor." But Bill
heeded not. He was too badly frightened to move, think
"Kill him, Bill. If you do not kill him we will both be
That seemed to soak in with some effect, and though
trembling like a dog in an ice bath the negro seized the
anchor, stood straight up in the boat and dealt the bear a
violent blow— a blow so violent it shook the boat from stem
to stern. The anchor fell from his hands and he seemed to
lose all presence of mind.
Quivering with fear, and showing the whites of his eyes
like two china eggs, he sprang back to his end of the boat.
But he did not stop there. He had put on too much steam
and he went over the stern of the boat and was buried in
the muddy water of the stream.
When Bill came to the surface and saw the bear strug-
gling in the water like an ungoverned flutter-wheel, he
pulled for the shore, and he screamed at every stroke of
The negro's mighty blow had killed the bear, so it soon
ceased to move. By that time I had climbed back into the
boat, and I threw a rope around the dead bear and towed
it to the shore.
"THE HAUNTED HOUSE OF HAWAII"
The first week of my experience as a plantation physi-
cian in the Islands of Hawaii was spent at the residence of
the manager. A house was being renovated for my occu-
During the preparation of the house the residents told
strange tales about it. It had been occupied as a hospital
and many persons had died in it. It was said by the super-
stitious that ghosts of the dead met there to devise means
of punishment for the overseers who had been cruel to them
in life. Be that as it may, the house was known far and
wide as the Haunted House of Hawaii.
Many times, during the immediate preceding years, occu-
pancy had been attempted by individuals, but no one had
been induced to pass a second night in the house. Strange
noises were so loud and confusing no one could sleep in the
house, so from sheer exhaustion, if not from fear, they
would go elsewhere in search of rest.
The chief overseer told me it was the height of folly
for me to attempt to occupy the house, and he told a strange
story of a woman seen one night walking in the direction
of the place. The woman suddenly appeared in front of
himself and the assistant overseer, at midnight, and walked
directly toward the house. She was seen very clearly be-
neath a full moon which was climbing up the eastern hori-
zon and was shedding its soothing light upon the world.
The gentlemen were so near the woman they could distin-
guish her dark hair, white waist and black skirt, and it
seemed she would weigh about one hundred and fifty
pounds. It was a late hour for a woman to be out alone,
and they quickened their pace to overtake her, but they
could not do so. The faster they walked the faster she
would walk. They called to her, but she paid no more atten-
tion to them than if they had not spoken. When opposite
the gate she darted through it and was gone.
The gate was immediately in front of the door and there
was but one foot of space between it and the veranda floor.
There were three rooms in the house; two communicating
rooms in front and one long room in the rear which extended
the full length of the house. The long room communicated
with one of the front rooms and had one back door which
opened upon the back yard. The floor was so near the
ground it was impossible for anyone to get underneath the
house. Immediately as the woman disappeared the two men
ran to the gate and entered it. One went to the right and
the other to the left of the house where they could see the
whole yard, back and front. Then one of them entered the
house at the front door and the other at the back door.
They struck matches and searched the house, but nothing
but the bare floors could be found. There was neither a
roof opening nor a trap through the floor. The yard was
very small and was surrounded by a tall board fence over
which no one could pass without previous preparation.
There was nothing in the yard but short grass; absolutely
no place in which a person might hide.
The stories did not disconcert me in the least. In fact,
I enjoyed hearing them. I was glad of the possibility of
realizing my life's desire, that of confronting a ghost.
I was really anxious to get into the house, notwithstand-
ing many persons had told me they would not, for the whole
world, attempt to pass a single night there. I took posses-
sion of the house in the afternoon and read until twilight.
Then I went to supper and left a light burning in the house
so everything was in statu quo upon my return.
I retired at 10 o'clock, and as soon as the house was in
darkness the troubles began. All sorts of inconceivable
noises were heard. Persons seemed to talk and walk and
roll barrels of rocks about the floor. Many times the noise
sounded as though the shingles were being torn from the
roof. It was just impossible to sleep. Many times I arose
from bed and searched the whole house for some cause of
the disturbances, but none could be found. The instant my
feet would touch the floor, or a light was made, all noises
The back room was occupied as a drug department, hav-
ing many shelves filled with many bottles of many sizes.
About 2 o'clock in the morning I heard one of the largest
bottles fall from the top shelf and smash to pieces upon the
floor. As quickly as possible I sprang to my feet and ran
into the room, striking a match as I went. But there was
no medicine spilled. There was no broken glass upon the
floor and every bottle was in its respective place just as they
had been when I went to bed. It seemed absolutely impos-
sible for such a crash to occur without leaving some evidence
of it, but it did.
The second night was much the same. Persons tramped
the floor, rapped upon the walls and ceiling and did every
devilish thing possible to keep one awake. At one time I
heard a person walk into the bedroom and stop at the side
of the foot of the bed within easy reach of my feet. Momen-
tarily I expected to feel cold hands take hold of my feet, and
I instinctively drew them up. At that selfsame moment
I struck a match and uplifted a machete to carve the ghost,
but there was no ghost to carve. All sounds ceased imme-
diately as I struck the match, but I got out of bed and
searched as I had done many times before, but my efforts
to gain information were as fruitless as a barren tree.
The third night was a repetition of the rest, except for
one distinctive feature. Heretofore the house had been
closed at night, but on that occasion I wished to receive my
ghostly guests with open house, wondering if it would make
any difference in their behavior. Every door and window
in the house was left wide open. The moon was shining so
brightly one could almost read without any other light.
Shortly after midnight I heard voices, seemingly of per-
sons seated upon a bench which was upon the veranda just
to the right of my room window. The blinds were wide open
and the sash was pushed up as high as it could go. As
noiselessly as possible I slipped from my bed and thrust my
body suddenly out of the window clear down to my waist.
I met with a great surprise. Not at what I saw, but at what
I did not see. The veranda was absolutely free from any
living thing and there was nothing but moonlight and space
to be seen. The talking had ceased the moment my feet
touched the floor. I was greatly puzzled, but as I knew of
no remedy I returned to my bed and really went to sleep.
I slept from exhaustion, the result of watchfulness and
anxiety to discover the cause of my unrest. Night after
night the disturbances were the same, but I grew accus-
tomed to my environment and slept as one sleep under the
din of battle or the constant hum of moving machinery.
Nearly a year was passed in the house, but the mystery
was never solved.
"TALPA, A SACRED SHRINE IN MEXICO"
Talpa is a small town in the mountains of the State of
Jalisco, Mexico. It nestles down in a cup-shaped valley, and
the adobe houses seen in the distance remind one of speckled
eggs in a bird's nest. The lofty peaks which surround the
place resemble sentinels placed there to guard the town.
Between the tall peaks there are a few rough and rugged
trails which lead, through narrow passes, down to the town.
They have been traveled hundreds of years, but are no bet-
ter for the usage.
Talpa is one of the most noted shrines now maintained
by the Roman Church in Mexico and persons seeking for-
giveness of sins go there in great numbers twice a year. It
is there that the Virgin Mary appears every day during the
"fiesta." During the fiesta days the trails are alive with
persons of all ages and of both sexes. Some are mounted
on horses, some on mules and some on donkeys, but the
great bulk of them are on foot. They come from great dis-
tances, covering weeks of travel. Time is of no value to
them. Once there they are happy — happy because they
receive the silent benediction of the Virgin and are for-
given of all sins.
I reached the town at night and found but two vacant
rooms in the place. One was held at five dollars a day and
the other at eight dollars, without board. They were in
houses built of adobe, hence were but large dirt boxes with-
out bedding or ventilation. There were but two openings
to a room, a window and a door, both of which had to be
closed and barred at night for safety. It was evident the
citizens lived the remainder of the year upon what they
grafted during the fiesta under the very gaze of the Virgin
The town cannot accommodate the people. Food is
bought whenever and wherever it can be gotten, but many
go hungry at times. There are booths erected in every
direction for selling food, and there is an almost continuous
line of them for miles upon each of the roads leading to the
place, but the supply does not equal the demand.
The visitors literally carpet the ground with their bodies
at night. They prostrate themselves in the streets like so
many sheep in a pen. It is difficult to get about after they
begin to lie down, because one has to step over men, women
and children, like stepping over ties on a railroad track.
All day there is a continuous stream of humanity, a
crushing jam of men and women flowing through the
church. They enter at the front door, all upon their knees,
and they pass out at another door, leaving all their sins
behind them. They are redeemed. Redeemed because they
have been seen by the Virgin Mary. Notwithstanding, Mary
is but a little idol of elaborate construction exposed to view
by drawing a curtain of richest silk.
At a point one hour's ride from the church there is a
cross erected upon a pedestal of stone in one of the most
difficult of the passes. At the foot of the cross, as is the
case in many other places, there is a pathetic appeal for
funds. Everyone who reaches the cross is expected to crawl
up the rough stone steps upon their knees, kiss the cold
stone and deposit a few cents. Those who are especially
penitent do not rise to their feet after crawling to the cross.
They proceed to the church upon their bared knees. Many
wear large crowns of sharp thorns which draw blood from
their scalps, while the rough stones of the trail do not fail
A Female Penitent Going to Church on Her Knees on Blankets
to bleed them at the knees. Some struggle down the moun-
tain under the weight of large wooden crosses, which they
take to the door of the church lashed to their aching backs.
Some have heavy poles lashed to their extended arms,
which, reaching across their backs, resemble crosses. The
poles and crosses are of such weight they require the entire
strength of the person to bear them. Others tie their ankles
together, necessitating steps of an inch or two in length,
with which they push along their sore and bleeding feet.
Some men and some women alike doing penance walk upon
their knees upon blankets spread upon the ground. While
one blanket is being taken up from behind another is being
spread down in front. This protects their knees and they
lose no blood. They are evidently more wise than the others.
Without food or drink many of them consume a day and
a night upon the trail between the cross and the church.
They often reach the church exhausted, bleeding and faint-
ing. But what does that matter to them? They deposit
their barbarous means of self-torture at the door of the
church and are made pure and holy, no matter what vile
sins they may have committed. Thus easily forgiven, they
are prepared to cut, kill, rob or do any other dirty work, for
they can as easily be forgiven again. To be seen by the
Virgin is a guarantee of absolution, at least they are made
Manner of Entering a Catholic Church in Mexico
to believe it is so. Their credulity is past understanding.
It was said the Virgin had made a midnight visit to the
neighboring town of Mascota, and the ignorant creatures
eagerly bought little packets of dust said to have been taken
from the tracks she had made in the road.
Who originated the story of the Virgin's midnight visit ?
Who got the money for which the dust was sold? From
what will be later said one may be able to decide.
I attended the fiesta of the Virgin to prove, or disprove,
the many wonderful stories I had heard of it. I had been
led to believe it a purely religious affair, but instead of this
I found it a diabolical, gambling hell, carried on under the
guise of religion. Every device for gambling was there,
carried on publicly, both day and night. From the petty
game of the peon upon a blanket upon the ground to the
most approved of modern swindling machines were there.
Many persons sold wares of spurious character, such as
rosaries, pictures of the saints, crosses, etc., of much less
value than the price, but they were considered of no real
value until blessed by a priest at the cost of a few cents.
The priests would bless a pig or a chicken for a few cents.
This latter proceedure was witnessed by me when my cook
had a pig blessed that she might use it to protect her from
the evil spirits that she believed were subject to control by
But all was not peace and love at the fiesta. Men, women
and children wept on account of losses, for robbery was rife.
It was a rendezvous of fakirs. The beggars were thicker
than the thieves. The halt, the blind, the sick and the lep-
rous were there, and they plied their vocations as beggars in
the half song tone of a priest. The lepers sat all day long
upon the roadside in the burning sun and displayed their
sickening infirmities as they plead for pennies in the name
of the holy saints.
Why is all this wickedness and blasphemous worship at
the fiesta ? That it is at least permitted by the authorities,
who could stop it if they would, goes without saying. There
are always numerous policemen and soldiers of the regular
army there who could interfere, but they do not.
A loser at one of the gambling machines remonstrated
with the operator, who, to appease anger, became commu-
nicative. "Do not be angry with me," said the fellow. "I
have no interest in this game except my daily wages."
"What! Do you tell me this game is not yours?"
"Cretainly I do. I am operating it for others."
"Pray tell me, then, who gets the money you are rob-
bing us of?"
"The Church and the high State officials."
Not being willing to rely upon the statement of one man
alone in a matter so grave, I inquired of many others who
were in position to know, and in every instance, if an
answer was given at all, it was the same.
But this is not the worst of the wickedness resulting
from the fiestas. The proverbial rock piles along the roads
which mark all places in Mexico where a death has occurred
were numerous along all the roads leading to Talpa, and this
in face of the face that Government soldiers are seen all
along on the roads. Where the country was open, practi-
cally free from timber and there were no places for conceal-
ment, there were but few rock piles. But wherever timber
or large boulders were found, they were in appalling
Leaving Talpa early in the morning, I counted the rock
piles seen along the road during the first day of travel, and
the number reached five hundred and seventy-four. Think
of it ! Five hundred and seventy-four deaths, most of them
from violence occurring on a road leading to a sacred shrine !
Contemplate the sum total on all of the roads and one can
but be appalled at the sad commentary on Roman Catholi-
cism in Mexico.
"A BUFFALO HUNT"
I did not know that a buffalo shot through the lung
would surely die. The first I had ever seen were six oM
bulls feeding upon the top of a flat hill. I crawled up the
side of the hill and shot at them. I aimed at nothing but
the great dark brown herd. I was so anxious to kill one of
them I just fired at them as a boy usually shoots at a covey
of flying birds. They all ran away and I feared I had missed
the whole bunch. But how could I have missed them? It
was like shooting into a dense forest and not expecting to
hit a tree.
I followed them in a run, but I didn't run far. An old
bull turned and ran at me. The hideous creature looked as
large as a house, so Lalsr; 'turned and ran. I wished for
wings that I mi-ght\ fly. 'but I: doubt if wings would have
speeded me up any/ for I beat the bull 'to a haven. I dodged
between some large rocks just as the bull was about to
The buffalo rubbed his stubby horns upon the rocks
within a few inches of- my body } but he could not reach me.
It was strange I did not think of shooting again until the
bull had gone away, wasn't it?
After a time I climbed up over the hill again and I saw
the buffalo fall to the ground as he was trying to regain his
place in the herd. Repeatedly he would fall and rise again,
until finally he did not try to get up. That produced an
inexplicable thrill of happiness, and I felt of much more
importancec than David did when he killed Goliath.
With due caution I walked up quite near to the brute,
laid my rifle down upon the ground and drew my butcher
knife from my bootleg. I crept to the buffalo's head, placed
my foot upon the horn which was in contact with the
ground and took hold of the other horn, fully believing I
could hold the buffalo down until his throat could be cut.
But alas, how mistaken I was! The instant the knife
touched the skin of the neck, which it could not penetrate,
the old bull gave a frightful groan and raised to his front
feet. He threw me twenty feet away and I ran away on
my "all fours." In my imagination I could feel the horns
of the buffalo tearing the seat of my pants, and the agony
of the moment was memorable.
Looking back, I saw the buffalo could not get up on his
hind legs, and I was much gratified to see him fall broad-
side to the ground. I ventured within pistol shot and emp-
tied my revolver in the animals back. That night I chewed
on tough buffalo steak for an hour.
"A RUNAWAY HORSE"
There was a large crowd tenting around the Lampasas
Springs in Texas, as was the custom of persons from all
parts of the State.
I became seriously infatuated with a beautiful brunette
from Houston, whom I called "Nettle." We were riding one
day and were away out across the distant prairie.
For some unaccountable reason the horse Nettle was
riding took fright and 'began to rim." • The bit parted in its
mouth and it was at once beyond control. Nettle was an
excellent rider aud she sat upon the horse with apparent
indifference as it 'sped across the prairie, .with, the swiftness
of a bird. > ; i ; • . \ „•
It was not far to the timber and the animal was not
likely to run himself down and slow his gait. Once the tim-
ber was reached the danger was increased, even for the
very best of riders. The horse could not be guided without
a bit in its mouth, and it was likely to fly the track at any
moment. It might turn suddenly into some cow trail, throw
the girl against a tree and kill her.
I pictured her in my mind lying dead and bleeding at
my feet while I hurled anathemas at the treacherous brute,
and even questioned the purpose of the All-Wise God who
had permitted it. The agony of suspense was bewildering.
My brain seemed to spin like a Chinese top. All I could do
was to await the coming of the dreaded climax.
But an idea seized me. I was on "Bruno," a little brown
horse which had never been left in a race. Holding him
back had not slackened the speed of the other horse, so I
urged Bruno forward with all of his might.
Nettle's horse bent every nerve as he stretched his neck
forward and rushed over the trail as though propelled by
steam. Bruno felt the prick of spurs in his sides and he
knew what it meant. He threw himself into the race with
wondrous force and seemed to catch inspiration from his
Like frightened deer the animals were running, and
Bruno gained upon the other horse. Faster and faster they
ran ff but Bruno soon closed the gap between them. A slight
twist of the reins brought them side by side, and I placed
my arm around Nettle's willowy waist and drew her to the
saddle in front of me.
Instantly Bruno slowed his gait, but the other horse
passed out of sight, followed by "Sunday School Song"
curses as I stood by Nettle's side and knew that she was
How convenient trouble is sometimes! How it brings
to light feelings that smoulder! How it encourages the
committal of acts which could not under other circumstances
Nettle was trembling with fear and was pale. I offered
her the support of my arm and she took it. Her eyes quiv-
ered as she looked into mine through sparkling tears of
gratitude, and she leaned forward and kissed me. It was
our first kiss, and I gave her many for the one. But, we
"ASLEEP ON A COFFIN"
I was making a journey on a train, the conductor of
which was an old friend. That particular train was a mixed
night train and it was crowded to overflowing with pas-
sengers. Standing room was at a premium, so the conductor
invited me to ride in his cab. The cab was an ordinary
freight box car, furnished with an arm chair and an impro-
vised desk. It was also used as an express car and con-
tained a number of packages and boxes of various sizes.
Most of the time I was the sole occupant of the cab, for
the conductor had business in various parts of the train.
The hours dragged. They grew very monotonous be-
cause there was nothing to read and no light in the cab
except an old oil lantern. Becoming overpowered with
drowsiness, I looked about for some place to lie down and
sleep. Close to the wall of the cab there was a long and very
large box. Upon examination I found that a cropse was in
that big long box and was being shipped to some distant
place. As a bed the coffin box was a great temptation to
me, especially as it was labeled, "Died of No Contagious
I could not resist the temptation to convert the coffin
into a bed, so I took the cushion from the chair for a pillow
and was soon fast asleep upon the coffin. Just how long
I enjoyed the improvised couch I did not know, but it must
have been for a brief space of time.
Suddenly I awoke while uttering a chilling scream. A
violent, headlong leap took me hard up against the sliding
door of the opposite side of the cab, which fortunately was
closed. Had the door been open I would have gone thrugh
it and been killed, for I knew not and I cared not where I
went, nor how. My sole object was to extricate myself from
the harrowing, uncanny position I occupied.
The coffin box top was very thin and the weight of my
body had crushed it, splitting it into long strips. The corpse
was that of a consumptive — long, emaciated and bony. The
man had come to life and had reached his thin, skinny arms
out through the slits in the box. The fleshless arms had
lapped across my breast and were drawing me down into
the coffin. At least, that is what I dreamed.
"IN A ROBBER'S TENT"
When quite a young man it became apparently necessary
for me to walk from Austin, Texas, to Lampasas.
Twenty miles from Austin the road ran through a sec-
tion of scrub timber which was generally known as the
"Indian Trail." Under cover of the brushy timber the In-
dians had traveled across that part of the road ever since
it was a road, hence it was dreaded by all travelers; espe-
cially was it dreaded at night.
It was my hope that I would cross the scrub timber be-
fore night, but I did not do it. I was not accustomed to
walking, so I grew tired at an early hour. My feet swelled
and they seemed to weigh forty pounds apiece. Before the
close of the day I could scarcely step, and I was not yet
beyond the center of the scrub. Tired, footsore and hungry,
I laid down upon the roadside to await the coming of I knew
Just as I was falling asleep I heard footsteps of a horse,
which seemed to be coming toward me. My heart pounded
rny ribs in audible tones as I raised up to listen. Suddenly
a horse jumped across a little ditch and stood still in the
road. The rider seized his rifle and raised it in his hands.
Immediately I placed my finger on the trigger of my gun
and we were motionless. The unexpected meeting was a
surprise to each of us, and we gazed at each other wonder-
ing who would make the first move, and what it would be.
At length the astonishment abated and the mounted man
"What will you take for your rifle, stranger?"
"Nothing," said I.
"Will you not sell it? Will you not trade it? I have
a fine horse I will give you for it."
I had borrowed the rifle I had and if there ever was a
time when I wanted a horse it was right then, but my sense
of honor would not permit the selling of a gun which was
not mine. Besides, I feared the proposition was a ruse
through which I would be robbed, perhaps killed. The
camper did not know I had no money, and it was natural
for his to suspect that I had because my clothing indicated
"Where is the horse?" I asked.
"At my camp."
"Where is your camp?"
"Just a few rods from here."
"Are you camping alone?"
"No. There is another man, a woman and a child."
. That was good news to me, because, if true, I would have
protection for the night and something to eat, so in order
to obtain those desirable things I intimated a desire to trade
though I had not the remotest idea of doing so.
"I will have a look at your horse," said I. "Go to your
camp and I will follow you."
The man left the road and pushed his way through the
thick brush and I followed along behind him. He kept a
close watch on me and I watched him equally as well.
In a little while we reached a large open space, entirely
free from brush, and I saw a tent, a man and a boy. A lit-
tle to one side there was woman preparing supper. The
smell of the juicy bacon, which was being fried, whetted
my already keen appetite and I was glad when I was invited
to eat before discussing the horse, trade. After supper I
was told the animals were not in camp and the two men
wandered off in search of them. This left me alone with
the woman and the child. A woman in camp is not always
a guarantee of safety, for some of them are worse than the
worst of men. When a woman is bad she is bad to the very
marrow of her bones, and wickedness saturates every fiber
of her frame. But even that sort of woman can smile her-
self into the good graces of some man as easily as water
wets a silk cloth. Once she accomplishes this she knows it,
and she controls that man, body and soul.
To spend the night at the camp was just what I wanted
to do, but when I became convinced my host was planning
for the same thing I was filled with the dread of uncer-
tainty. The more I pondered over the situation the more
convinced I was of bad faith in the campers.
Night came on and the men had not returned. Then I
was invited into the tent by the woman, under pretense of
escaping the cold wind. The child was put to bed in one
corner of the tent and I was given a cot in another corner.
The cot was placed firmly up against the tent so that the
bulging of the cloth showed exactly where the cot was
located. I noticed this peculiar act of the woman, but not
suspecting her purpose I laid down upon the cot.
Then the woman left the tent under pretense of neces-
sary culinary affairs. But I got up and watched her. She
walked directly beyond the fire and disappeared in the direc-
tion the men had gone.
It was a clear, cool night. The full moon had risen and
mingled its gorgeous light with that of the garish stars
which studded the firmament. The- night was as bright as
day and as still as death. I had never allowed my rifle out
of my hands for a single moment. I had eaten supper with
it across my lap, and it was in my hands in the tent. I had
a premonition of the approach of some foul scene, but I
could not figure it out. I did not return to the cot after
seeing the woman disappear. I was more content to sit up
and watch for the coming events.
The child was shivering in its sleep and aroused sym-
pathy, so I lifted it gently from its pallet upon the ground
and placed it upon the cot. I wrapped it snugly in the blan-
ket which had been given for my comfort and I sat in the
corner where the child had been.
Suddenly a sharp report of pistols was heard from with-
out. So nearly were the weapons simultaneously discharged
they seemed almost as one. Smoke coming through the tent
cloth just back of the cot showed where the bullets had
entered. They had punctured the blanket wrapped around
the child and had penetrated its head and back. The poor
creature groaned with a faintly audible sound and blood ran
from its mouth and ears. It gave on strong, spasmodic
struggle and was dead.
In a moment more an eye was seen peeping through the
door of the tent where the folds were barely separated by
unseen hands. Immediately I raised my rifle to my shoulder
and fired. But I aimed above the eye, for I did not wish to
take human life unless it became absolutely necessary to
do so. I was sure they would not again shoot into the tent,
there were no more landmarks. Besides, fear that the child
because there were no more landmarks. Besides, fear that
the child would arouse and be injured would safeguard
against further shooting. They did not know at that mo-
ment the poor creature was dead; that its innocent spirit
had gone whence it came. That it was dead, perhaps at
the hands of the mother who loved it best. But, is it not
far better to die in infancy than to be reared by such a
The time had come for me to escape, if indeed such could
be done, and I well knew a bold move was necessary to suc-
cess. I sprang suddenly through the tent door with the rifle
at my shoulder and covered the first man that I saw. Fortu-
nately I covered them both, as one was directly behind the
other. Each man had a pistol in his hand, but before they
could raise to shoot they heard the words, "Drop pistols.
Hands up." The pistols hit the ground and the hands went
up. The men cried, "Don't shoot! Don't shoot! We are
"Move a muscle and you die," said I. "One bullet will
get you both."
All the while this was going on I was slowly moving
backward toward the thick brush which was close at hand.
When I reached the brush I darted into the thicket with an
almost invisible movement and was gone. I walked perhaps
miles in the direction of Lampasas, and slept the remainder
of the night in a thick bunch of bushes.
When I awoke in the morning I heard the rattling of
chains and the rumble of a wagon. Immediately I sprang
to my feet and approached the road. I moved cautiously
so as not to be seen. I recognized the driver as a regular
freighter and I ran to the wagon and jumped into it before
being seen by the teamster. I slapped the fellow on the
back with my open palm, and He went over the front wheel
as quickly as the shadow of a flying bird can cross a wire
"Stop ! Stop there, man ! You are in no danger." The
man turned around as I stopped the team.
"Where are you going with this wagon?"
"I — I don't know now, but I started to Lampasas."
"So did I. Get in and let's go."
"That's all right, sir, but you drive. I'll walk."
The man was still so uncertain of things he trembled as
he spoke. He was not a coward, but his rifle was under the
wagon seat and that made a great difference in his deport-
ment. He could not be induced to get back into the wagon
until a rifle was leveled at his head and he was ordered to
get in. Then he climbed in and took the reins.
We reached Lampasas just as the western horizon was
hiding a gorgeous sun which sent out rays through the
bright, shining clouds like so many silvery spokes in a grand
chariot of gold.
"IN A DISSECTING ROOM"
During my attendance upon medical lectures I received
a visit by an old schoolmate named Taylor. Taylor was
shown through the medical college and he heard several
very interesting lectures, particularly one on anatomy. The
latter lecture excited his curiosity beyond measure and he
expressed, a keen desire to see the inside of a dissecting
The subject being a good one, the time seemed propitious
for a practical joke, so I told Taylor I would arrange with
the janitor for a clandestine visit and I would take him
through the "Hall of Stiffs."
The night came, all plans were effected satisfactorily
and I escorted my friend up the long stairway which led
from the ground floor to the second story upon which the
dissecting room was located. The old janitor met us at the
door and invited us in. Then the janitor closed the door
The room was a very large one and accommodated forty
tables, situated several feet apart. Upon each table there
was a corpse of a man, a woman or a child, and each was
perfectly nude. The corpses were in all stages of dissection,
from that of being slightly carved to a state of such mutila-
tion they were beyond recognition. It is a sight that will
try the nerves of any man not accustomed to death.
Taylor and I were standing between two of the tables
examining a very much carved carcass when suddenly it
raised to a sitting posture, being drawn up by an invisible
wire manipulated by the janitor, who was up in the space
between the roof and the ceiling.
With a loud exclamation of horror, Taylor sprang back-
ward. He struck the table behind him with such force it
turned completely over and sent the corpse which was upon
it rolling to the floor. Then a mutilated corpse fell from the
skylight and struck the floor immediately in front of Tay-
lor. The door which led into the museum opened and the
manikin, which was on rollers, seemed to walk into the
room. The manikin was a papier-mache image of a man
apparently skinned. It was so perfect is showed clearly
the red arteries, the blue veins and the muscles. It had
been smeared with phosphorescent oil in such a manner it
was plainly visible when the lights went out.
With one loud, long yell, and apparently with one leap,
Taylor landed his ponderous body against the door, which
had been locked by the janitor on the outside. The door
flew wide open and Taylor was gone like a streak of light-
ning. There was just one flash and it was all over. He was
gone before I could speak to him ; and we never spoke again.
"A HORSE LAUGHED"
One night in a city of Hawaii I drove into a livery stable
and was accosted by a tall, handsome Kanaka who wore a
dark skin and a black mustache. A large metallic star was
shining upon the lapel of his coat and he carried a club in
his hand, so it was not a difficult matter to locate him.
"I arrest you," said the fellow.
"The devil you do ! What is it for?"
"For driving in the streets at night without a lantern."
"I do not believe that a light is required on a bright night
like this. The law says one must have a light during the
hours of darkness. If you think these are hours of dark-
ness you would better have your eyes tested. However, if
I have violated any law I am willing to suffer the conse-
quences. Just name the price and I will pay it."
"I cannot take your money. I have arrested you."
"Perhaps you think you have, but I do not agree with
you. If you have arrested me it is up to you to make the
first move. What do you think you are going to do?"
"I am going to take you to the Sheriff."
"Now see here, officer. I am going to be very plain
with you. If you have arrested me it is your duty to take
me with you, but I assure you if you attempt it you will
have the warmest moment you have ever had in all the days
of your life. I am not to be taken througli these streets
under arrest unless I have committed some crime, so I
promise you I will resist you just as long as there is a piece
left of me large enough to make a grease spot upon a silk
handkerchief. Now, do you understand me?" I then
walked leisurely out into the street, leaving the Hawaiian
officer a perfect monument of surprise. He seemed fixed
to the floor like an Indian cigar sign, a thing not valued
for its activity.
The Sheriffs of the different islands were little less than
Kings. Each ruled, absolutely, the island upon which he
lived. I realized I was practically living at the will of that
mighty dignitary, but I went to the Sheriff's office and
related the circumstances exactly as they had occurred. I
feared the consequences, but I believed I was right, and I
always have the courage of my convictions.
The Sheriff promptly replied, and in a way that greatly
relieved my mind. "Right or wrong, Doctor," said the
Sheriff, "I am surprised that you did not have trouble.
That officer is reputed to be a courageous man and he not
only has the authority to make arrests, but authority to use
the necessary force to accomplish them. However, it is a
bright night and we will drop the subject right here and
now, and the matter shall remain an incident passed."
The decision of the Sheriff reassured me, and I made
a request of him. "You are aware, Mr. Sheriff, of the
escape from your prison of one Lopez, a Porto Rican, a des-
perate murderer who is condemned to the gallows. You
know of his many dastardly acts before and since his escape.
You know how he cuts, shoots and robs at will. The men
and women in my section are afraid to put their noses out
of doors at night. He enters houses and demands food. If
it is mealtime he sits at the table, with his pistol at his
plate, and he satisfies his appetite and leaves. Frequently
he shoots back into a house after leaving it. He is now on
our plantation, so there is good ground for the fear enter-
tained by the people. Three nights ago he cut a horse loose
from a buggy and robbed its occupants. He gave each one
a chop with a machete and left them sitting in a horseless
buggy with bleeding wounds. What I desire is authority to
arrest him as under a bench warrant, in case I should chance
to meet him. I am frequently out alone, in the night as
well as in the day, and I would not like to meet him unless
I had the right to arrest him, or kill him if it became neces-
sary to do so. I certainly would not attempt to capture him
under any other circumstances. May I have it?"
"Yes. With much pleasure you shall have it. I know
you would not abuse the authority."
When I left that office I carried in my pocket written
authority to arrest the body of Lopez, dead or alive.
At 4 o'clock of the following morning I left my buggy
at the livery stable and started home on horseback because
a storm was brewing and it had become intensely dark. On
each side of the road there was a dense forest of ferns, fern
trees and vines. They completely covered the lava flow,
through which the road had been built, and they concealed
many dangerous holes and caverns in the lava. It was so
dark one's hands could not be seen, and the horse had to be
trusted to find the road and keep on it.
Suddenly the animal began to buck, and he bucked as
he had never done before. The first thought was that the
horse had been lassoed by Lopez and life's game was up.
Then it was thought the horse might get off the road and
fall into some hole and kill himself and his rider. Not wish-
ing to take such chances, I sprang from the saddle and
landed upon a wire. From the wire I fell upon a stone in
the road and injured my hip severely. The pain was in-
tense. A telephone wire had fallen and it reached nearly to
the ground, crossing the road at a right angle. The horse
had gotten astride of the wire and as he advanced it rose
up between his hind legs and scratched him. He bucked
himself off of it. What horse would not have done so?
Almost instantly the sound of the horse's hoofs as they
pounded the smooth, hard road ceased to be heard. It
ceased so suddenly I feared the animal had fallen by the
roadside. I had no matches nor light of any kind, so I could
not look for the horse. My pistol was in a pocket on the
horn of the saddle and was gone. So I sat down in the road
to think over the situation and rest my injured hip.
Without even the protection of a pocketknife I was alone
and injured, in the darkest hour of the night, in a section
inhabited only by renegades— and I wondered why I was
After the acme of pain had passed away I arose and
limped along in the direction of the plantation, hoping some
one would come along and take me up. I thought a great
deal about Lopez. It was just at that dismal spot he had
robbed a number of persons. I had no desire to meet him
in my helpless condition, I did not even care to encounter
a "badger," much less a burly brute like Lopez.
Slowly and painfully limping along, I came to a place
where the road inclined upward before me. By the light of
the stars, which peeped from the behind the clouds for a
moment, I could see a man silhouetted against the heavens.
He was standing in the middle of the road. It was impos-
sible to distinguish more than the outlines of the man, but
I was very certain it was Lopez. What other man would be
there at that dark hour of the night? Light could be seen
between his legs, but his head could not be distinguished
from his body. He was standing as motionless as a post.
He evidently had seen me and had halted for the fray.
Lame, suffering and without a gun, I was absolutely at the
mercy of the man. It never occurred to me to run. I could
not leave the road and hide in the vines, for that was a dif-
ficult and dangerous feat even in the light of the sun. I
determined to accept the situation with fortitude and take
whatever was coming to me like a man. But I advanced
upon the man, hoping for success in a little game of bluff.
And I addressed him rather sharply : "Get out of the way,
you scoundrel, or I will blow your brains out."
I had summoned a clear and commanding voice, just as
though my heart was not beating my requiem. But there
was no response. I advanced within six feet of the man and
issued another command.
"Get out of the way, damn you, or I will shoot you in
Still there was no response. The fellow was evidently
calling the bluff. Perhaps he knew what had happened,
had caught the horse, and had at tha.t moment my pistol in
his hand. He would kill me with my own gun. What a
harrowing thought. But there was no time for thinking.
I must act, and act quickly. But how? I must push the
bluff by attempting to pass. Stepping aside for that pur-
pose I made one step forward and discovered I had been
talking to my horse. The horse laughed.
"AT THE CRATER OF MAUNA LOA"
"Mauna Loa," the big volcano of Hawaii, was in action.
Apparently fire was spouting from "Mokoweoweo," the sum-
mit crater. I was at the hotel at the crater of "Kilauea,"
which is on the side of Mauna Loa, about half way between
the summit crater and the sea. I formed a party of thirteen
and started up the summit crater on Friday, the thirteenth
day of the month of August. We left the hotel on such
mules and horses as could be procured and the first night
was spent at "timber line," the point at which vegetation
ceases to grow.
Coming up to so great an altitude from a section where
perpetual summer reigns, we suffered from cold notwith-
standing it was the month of August. On the following
morning we started over bare rocks and were soon far above
the clouds and vegetable life. The ascent was an almost
continuous climb and there was nothing to indicate the
course. There was no trail and the gaping crevices menaced
the limbs and lives of men and beasts. Frequently an ani-
mal would fall and have to be lifted to its feet again. The
journey was perilous and grew more and more dangerous
every hour we advanced. At any hour hot lava might have
burst through the wall of the mountain, as it had been
known to do, and swallow us up, but we did not turn back.
The party reached the crater at 2 o'clock in the after-
noon, and we looked down into a fiery furnace one mile wide
and three miles long, the depth of which varies as the melted
stone rises or fails in the hideous hole. When the crater
fills beyond its capacity it runs over at the lowest point of
the rim and forms a river of lava known as a flow. A flow
finds its way toward the sea and destroys everything in its
coures. It illuminates the heavens for miles in every direc-
tion, and reading by its light is an easy matter miles away.
All over a nine-mile plateau, in the center of which the cra-
ter is situated, there were crevices filled with ice and snow
and the thermometer indicated 22 Fahrenheit. There was
a cutting wind blowing across the crater, but for which we
could not have gone so near as we did. We rode within ten
feet of the crater's edge, dismounted and sat on the very
brink, allowing our feet to hang over the seeting, melted
mass several hundred feet below us.
Outspread in front and below there was a floor of melted
stone covering the entire bottom of the crater. The lava
moved in restless waves and swished and swashed against
the wails of the great pot which held it within bounds. In
the center many fountains played. Some were continuous,
while others played incessantly. They threw a continuous
stream of lava hundreds of feet into the air, and it came
back like a deluge of brilliant stars. There was a continuous
roar as of distant thunder, which, with the noise of burst-
ing fountains and deep and constant detonations, produced
a conglomerate sound at once weird and appalling.
Every member of the party was impressed as never
before in life. It is impossible to imagine anything more
awe-inspiring, or more calculated to enforce obedience to
the great Omnipotent One.
In less than two hours after reaching the crater every
member of the party was sick. We were suffering from
"mountain sickness," and we grew steadily worse as time
wore on. The feeling is that of seasickness, an intense
desire to vomit, which is accompanied by the most intense
headache man is ever called upon to endure. By 8 o'clock
at night everyone was stretched out in the tent, most of
them too ill to move.
I attempted to make notes of the peculiar illness and
found a rise of temperature in some and a quickened pulse
in all. After the second round of pulse-taking, which had
been made by crawling around on my hands and knees, I
was forced to abandon the work on account of the unbear-
able pain in my head.
No one could eat or sleep. Even the animals refused to
eat, and it was believed they were also suffering from the
same disease. Every head felt as though it would burst
upon the slightest movement. The suffering was so great
that some of the men begged to be left at the crater to die.
They would rather have died than move. However, we did
not all suffer in the same degree, so when dawn came those
of greater endurance than the rest forced the others upon
their horses and the return trip was begun. By the time
we had descended to a 10,000-foot altitude every man in the
party had recovered except me. Appetites had returned
and a stop was made for dinner. I would not stop. I could
not eat, I was still suffering and as there were but a few
miles more to cover in order to reach the hotel I preferred
not breaking the journey.
We had reached the timbered country, and while I did
not know which trail to take I felt that my horse would take
me safely through. I started off alone, but a Mr. Turner,
impelled by warmth of friendship and fear that I would be
lost, resaddled his horse and followed me.
Through the long grass which covered the face of the
earth wild cattle had beaten many trails. We gave up trail
after trail for others which appealed to us and soon we real-
ized we were lost. We had been traveling six hours and
the hotel should have been reached long before that time.
Suddenly we came upon a log fence. The fence was con-
structed of whole trunks of trees, fifty to sixty feet in
length, used as rails. The fog was so dense we could not
see fifty feet beyond us, so it was clearly wise to follow the
fence. But which way should we go? We could neither see
the ocean nor the heavens, nor was there anything to indi-
cate the proper direction. The side of the mountain was
exceedingly undulating and in the dense forest, made denser
by the fog, it was impossible to say whether we were going
up, down or around the mountain. We could not even see
that the fence was a large corral made by natives for catch-
ing wild cattle.
I insisted upon taking one direction and Turner insisted
upon another, the two directions being diametrically opposed
to each other. Hence we could not both be right. We could
not agree, so we started off in opposite directions. Believ-
ing the fence must lead to some habitation I said to Turner,
"Stick to the fence and we may meet again some day." I
was weak and wan, and I knew I would not last long if lost
in the forest without food or drink. As I was passing along
the fence in the direction I had selected I was thinking of
Turner. I was deserting a friend who had deserted his
friends for me. Was this right ? We were, in fact, equally
deserting each other. Moved by sympathy, I turned in the
saddle to take a final look at Turner, and I heaved a deep
sigh of satisfaction. Turnej was following me.
Then I experienced a cutting sense of remorse. I might
be going wrong. I might have been too insistent in oppos-
ing Turner and might be leading him away from succor.
If so, he would die under the awful pangs of starvation in
that dense forest, as others have done.
Just at that moment, the moment when our hearts were
heavy and sad, they were made to leap for joy. Two suc-
cessive reports of a gun were heard quite near us and we
knew what it meant. Searching parties had been sent to
find us. We returned the signal and were soon mingling
with those we had left at noon.
"A KANGAROO COURT TRIAL"
A dentist, who was a stranger in Texas, was killed. Not
a very unusual incident, but this man left a magnificent
dental outfit, and there was neither relative nor particular
friend to take possession of his effects.
On the day of the funeral a suspicious-looking character
appeared upon the streets, and after having had time to
learn the circumstances, claimed to be a cousin of the dead
dentist and would assume possession of his property.
I was so fully convinced the man was an impostor I deter-
mined to thwart him, so I planned a Kangaroo Court trial.
I gained the confidence of the fellow and arranged a meet-
ing at my office at 8 o'clock that night to determine proper
methods for obtaining the dead man's effects.
When Mr. Britton, the impostor, entered my office
everything was in readiness for the sacrifice, and the pro-
ceedings worked as smoothly as the wheels of time.
"Mr. Britton," said I, "I have been thinking over this
matter quite intently and 1 find there is a serious side to it.
We will have to proceed with great caution. I learn there
is already some prejudice existing and you may get into
"What kind of trouble do you mean?"
"Well, suppose you are suspected of trying to obtain
goods under false pretenses ? If so, you would certainly be
"I would like to see the man in Texas who can arrest
me," said Britton.
Just at the conclusion of this evidence of bravado Mr.
Brown, the fake Sheriff, walked into the room. "Come in,
Mr. Sheriff," said I. "I am glad to see you. Allow me to
introduce Mr. Britton."
The two men shook hands and the Sheriff said : "Why,
how do you do? So you are Mr. Britton, are you?"
"Yes. Why do you ask in that sarcastic manner?"
"Because I have been looking for you. I have a capias
for your arrest."
"My arrest? Who dares accuse me? What is the
"You are charged with violating every law of the deca-
The pretending Sheriff then drew a large bill book from
his inside pocket and fumbled over a lot of old papers which
had no significance other than to impress the prisoner with
the importance of the officer. In drawing out the bill book
the Sheriff intentionally opened his coat front so as to ex-
pose a large pistol scabbard which, though quite empty, had
the desired effect. Of this there was no doubt, because
instead of making resistance, as Britton had intended me
to believe he would do, he simply turned to me and asked,
"What shall I do?"
"Why, go with him, of course," said I. "What else could
you do? But you had better see a lawyer at once. He may
prevent you spending the night in jail."
"You are right, sir. Will you assist me in securing one ?"
"Cretainly I will," said I. "The court is now in session
and if it has not yet adjourned for the night we will easily
find a lawyer. Mr. Sheriff, may I take Mr. Britton with
"Yes, sir; but I also must go with you. He is my pris-
We went directly to Lawyer Walker's office and, by pre-
vious agreement, he was in. Mr. Walker consented to take
the case and insisted on an immediate trial. We went at
once to the improvised court room where. the sham judge,
an old gray-headed doctor, apparently was dismissing the
court for the night. Lawyer Walker made his demand and
the judge reopened the court and proceeded with the Brit-
The prosecuting attorney swore the improvised wit-
nesses to give "incorrect" statements instead of giving "in
correct statements," and right well they did their duty.
Britton did not notice the catch in the oath and the result
was perfect. It was proven, by leading the witnesses, that
Britton was from Mississippi and had stolen a beautiful span
of white horses ; that he had taken the life of the owner of
the horses, and that he was in Texas under an assumed
The trial was one of the most interesting ever listened
to in the town, and the spectators grew in number as the
news of the trial spread abroad.
When the argument was concluded and the jury had
retired I slipped Britton's hat under my coat front, allowing
Britton to see it done, and asked permission to converse with
Britton alone. "You have my premission," said the judge.
"But you must remain in the court room."
"I fear, Your Honor, that will not answer my purpose.
My conversation must not be heard by others. May I take
him to the 1 veranda ?"
"Yes, you may, if you will be personally responsible for
the prisoner's return to the court room."
"Thank you, Your Honor. I agree to that because I do
not believe Mr. Britton would commit an act which would
bring reproach upon himself or upon me, even if he knew
he was to be hanged."
Mr. Britton and I walked out upon the veranda, which
was twelve feet above the sidewalk. As the door was closed
I handed him his hat and said: "That jury will hang you
as sure as you are alive. Now is your time to run. Run as
though the devil was after you. RUN !"
"Thank you! Thank you!" said Britton as he seized
"Don't stop to thank me ! Run ! Take wings and fly !"
Britton did run. That is, he is supposed to have done so,
for no one saw him run. With one leap he hit the ground.
He bounded in the air like a rubber ball, and was gone.
"Catch him, catch him !" I cried, and I fired every barrel
of my revolver in the air. In an instant everybody was out
in the street yelling and firing, but no one knew the direc-
tion the man had taken.
It was believed he swam the river, because he was seen
at daylight on the next morning sixteen miles away, wet
and with clothing badly torn by catclaws. He was never
heard of again.
"THE DOINGS OF SPOOKS"
I was called to attend an inquest held beyond a point
where a man had been killed by negroes. The body of the
man had been hidden by the negroes behind a log which lay
near the road where it ran through a very deep cut. It was
in this deep cut in the road that the murder was committed.
The log could not be seen from the road, and the foolish
negroes thought they would never be discovered, but they
were apprehended and hung.
The subject of the inquest was a small girl whom it was
thought had been beaten to death by her father. It was
12 o'clock at night when I rendered my decision adverse to
the suspicion. When I was ready to return home I was
accosted by a negro school teacher who asked permission to
ride with me until a certain road was reached which led to
the negro's home. .Before reaching that road I had to pass
through the deep cut where the murder had been committed.
When the cut was reached the moon was shining like
a mighty chandelier, and one could easily read by its light.
The buggy was a very light vehicle, without a top, and the
horse was a young and spirited animal. The horse was
walking quietly up the hill through the cut, and everything
was as still as death, except the faintly audible sounds of
the horse's steps in the deep, dry, sand of the road. So far
as I knew neither of us was thinking of the dead man, or of
spooks of any kind. But our attention was forcibly called
to them. Suddenly there was a terrible rattling of chains
immediately under the buggy. The horse lunged forward
as though stung by a keen lash, and the negro seized me
around the waist with both arms as firmly as a vise and
exclaimed in a loud voice, "Great God, doctor! What is
For a moment neither of us moved. The negro would
not and I could not. The negro quivered as though in a con-
gestive chill, and hung on like grim death, but I succeeded
after a while in extricating myself from his grasp. The
horse trembled, as well as the negro, and he champed his
bit and tested the lines in anxiety to get away. I tried to
get the negro to get out and look under the buggy, but I
might as well have ordered a mountain to move. I gave the
lines to the negro, got out and searched under the buggy
and all around on the roadside for some dog with chains or
some other thing which could account for the uncanny situa-
tion. But nothing, absolutely nothing, could be found.
Driving on a way, the negro's road was reached and I
told him to get out and go home.
"No, no, doctor! Before God, I can't do it," said the
"Get out, you fool. There is nothing to harm you."
With a tremor in his voice the negro said: "No, my
dear, good doctor ! Please let me stay in the buggy. I have
a wife and five children at home, but they won't see this
Believing the man was really suffering from fright, he
was allowed to remain in the buggy. But it was only for
a short time. The road led close to a log house on the next
farm. The negro saw a light in the house, and he went over
the buggy wheel like a duck on the fly and he burst through
the door of the house without stopping to give warning of
When within a few miles of the city I was driving slowly
down a long sloping hill to a little stream which crossed the
road. On the other side of the stream there was also a long
slope, a counterpart of the one I was descending. I saw a
large four-mule wagon coming down the hill in front of me.
It was a typical country store wagon. Goods boxes were
piled high upon it, and the driver was in plain view sitting
upon the most forward box. I heard the rattle of the trace
chains and saw the mules and wagon as they moved along
When within a few feet of the water, which was about
an inch deep, I drove my horse to the side of the road for
the wagon to pass, but it did not do it. It vanished like a
I was certain I was not dreaming, because my young
and frisky horse would not admit of that. Had I alone seen
this phantom, and heard the chains under the buggy, I
might have thought I had bats in my garret. Both the
negro and the horse had heard the chains. I was not a
believer in ghosts, so I believed there was some simple way
of accounting for such uncanny things if one only knew how
to do it. These occurrences have never been accounted for.
"DR. JOHN HUNTER AS A MINISTER"
Dr. John Hunting and I, Dr. John Hunter, made a tour
of the western part of Texas, selling land. On one occasion
we were directed to the home of a Mr. Williams, who lived
on what was then the frontier.
Williams had lived a long time in his neighborhood, and
could be of much service to us in locating certain tracts of
Before reaching the Williams home we met Mr. Williams
at a fence where he was plowing in his field. Dr. Hunting
introduced himself, and then presented me, not as a physi-
cian, but as a young Presbyterian minister, who was an
invalid, traveling for his health. Mr. Williams, very cour-
teously, invited us to pass the time under his roof, but
Hunting quickly declined, and told Williams that I had been
ordered by my physician not to pass a night jn a house.
However, an invitation to supper was accepted and we drove
into the woods near the Williams home and prepared a camp.
As soon as we had driven away from Mr. Williams I said
to Dr. Hunting: "You have played the devil! What on
earth did you mean by introducing me as a minister ? How
can any sane man mistake me for an invalid?"
"Oh, it is just a joke. Humor it," said Hunting. "We
will be away from here tomorrow, so what difference does
I believed I was equal to most occasions, but playing
minister was a game I did not covet. I feared 1 would be
called upon to do and say things of which I was wholly
incapable. However, I yielded to Hunting's persuasion and
resolved to play the part if I could.
When we were seated at the supper table Mr. Williams
requested me to ask a blessing. I had often done so, and
I summoned a sanctimonious voice and proceeded: "Gra-
cious Lord, we beseech Thee to sanctify these blessings unto
our use. Bless each member of this family; embue them
with the Holy Ghost, and when they come to die I pray Thee
to ornament Thy throne with their spotless souls. This we
ask in the name of Thy martyred Son. Amen."
That seemed to be duly appreciated and I was as much
relieved as though I had escaped through a fence crack
from a maddened bull.
After a hearty feast upon the usual preacher's diet, and
a little general conversation, I was requested to hold family
prayer. That was a bumper which made me see stars. I
knew I could not "face the music," but I kept a straight face
and promptly replied:
"I am very sorry, my good brother, to refuse you, but
the condition of my throat does not warrant much talking.
My physicians have forbidden talking, and it is of no use to
employ a physician unless you obey him. As much as I
regret it, you will have to excuse me."
After that I suggested no subject of conversation and
never said more than enough to make a point clear.
When Hunting insisted upon me playing the role of a
minister- he did not dream we would be held within the
shadow of the Williams cottage for two long weeks instead
of a day, as he had suggested. But such was the case.
Every day Hunting and Williams would go away and look
after the land sales, and leave me at the camp to amuse
myself as best I could. As a matter of course I could take
no part in the business now. It had to be left entirely with
Hunting. Many a monotonous hour was spent in camp, but
there were pleasant hours spent at the Williams home.
Each day I thought the next would end the farce, but
the next only brought necessity for another until a Sunday
came. Hunting and Williams went away just as on any
other day, and I dined at the Williams house. After dinner
I went out for a walk. The frontier was dangerous, so I
took a rifle in my hands. I had gone but a little way when
a large buck sprang from a gulch and ran straight away.
I placed the rifle to my shoulder and shot the buck down.
I was now in a dilemma. I had either to conceal the act and
lose the venison, a thing of which I was passionately fond,
or confess the sin and save the meat. Here was a minister
of the gospel shooting deer on Sunday. What an example
for the world! What would the people think?
The report of the rifle had probably been* heard and I
would not be able to contravene the facts of the case, so I
decided to confess the deed and explain favorably to myself
if I could. I returned to the house and told Sister Williams
what I had done. Apologizing for the act, I told her it had
been committed in a thoughtless moment, hence without
volition. It was an act committed without the sanction of
the will, so it could not be a sin. Intention makes the crime,
so I did not believe I would be held responsible for it.
The lady promptly agreed with me and called a young
man to assist in bringing the deer to the house. A horse
was saddled for the purpose and I rode him back to the
place where the deer was killed. The deer was too large
for any one man to handle, and it would not be wise for an
invalid to exhibit much strength in assisting, so I threw the
rope over the back of the horse and tied one end to the horns
of the deer. On the other side of the horse, out of sight of
the young man, I could exert considerable force without
detection. The young man lifted the deer and I pulled on
the rope. In this way it was raised to the saddle and se-
curely tied behind it. Then in much complacence I mounted
the old horse and started him off. The long horns of the
buck tickled the horse in the flank and he yielded to his
natural-born inclination. He humped his back in the middle
like an angry cat and went up in the air. He bucked and
bellowed like a frightened steer and the fourth time he came
to earth he landed me, the deer and the saddle in a jumbled
mass upon the ground. By the assistance of the young man,
who expressed great sympathy for the invalid, I came out
of the tangle of flesh, leather and iron without a scratch.
The deer was then tied to the old nag's tail and dragged
The Sunday escapade became the talk of the country, but
the minister's infirmity secured for him the sympathy of
Many and varied were the remarks made, but with one
accord the people said it was sad that so young a man
should be in such a deporable physical condition. Really,
I was never in better health at any time in my whole life,
and the imagination of my sympathizers was past under-
On the next day I borrowed a horse from Mrs. Williams
and rode over to a country store at the suggestion of Dr.
Hunting. As I walked through the store Dr. Hunting, who
was waiting for the fun without ever having advised me of
his intentions, called me over across the floor and introduced
me to an old, gray-headed man with long white hair.
"Brother Boyd," said he, "let me introduce my companion,
Parson Hunter, who is also a Presbyterian preacher."
I was astonished; shocked. "Great Lord! What will
happen now?" I thought. But I stepped forward promptly
and gave Brother Boyd my hand. I expressed great pleas-
ure at meeting the venerable gentleman and invited him
to my camp, at the same time intending to be far away
should the invitation be accepted.
After a few moments I was given another shock, one
I can never forget. Brother Boyd asked me a question
which came like a report from an unloaded gun. "My good
brother, what synod do you belong to?"
I knew no more about a synod than a billy-goat does
about a gellery play, but I had to respond.
"Oh, sir, I am not an ordained minister. I have not
left the seminary yet."
"Ah, indeed. What seminary are yo uattending?"
I knew as little about Presbyterian seminaries as I did
about the bottom of the sea, so I clasped my hands across
my abdomen, bent my body almost double and groaned.
"Oh, oh ! I've got it again ! Oh, oh !"
"What is the matter, my brother? What on earth is
"It is only one of my usual pains. How I did hope to
pass the day without them!" And I kept on groaning.
In great sympathy, emphatically expressed, Brother
Boyd said: "What can I do for you, brother? Let me do
something for you. Come over to my house. It is not far
"No, no. The best place for me is my camp. Please
assist me to mount my horse."
"Certainly, sir. With much pleasure I will." He took
hold of my arm and assisted me to and upon the saddle.
Then Mr. Boyd said:
"I will get my horse and go with you."
"No, indeed, you will not," said I. "I would not allow
you to trouble yourself about me. I will be all right in a
little while. Good-bye !" I then rode away in the direction
of my camp still holding one hand over my abdomen and
bending forward in the saddle. As soon as I was out of
sight I put spurs to the horse and sent him down the road
at a Paul Revese gait, and I laughed until I nearly fell off
the brute. I looked back and sang: "There are times
when you'd like to be at home."
By agreement, the land buyers were to meet at the
court house and get their deeds, and it was agreed also
that I should throw off my cloak of religion at the same
time and place in presence of Brother Boyd.
The deeds were all signed, the money paid, and Hunting
was sitting in the buggy ready for the grand finale.
I told everyone present good-bye, reserving Boyd for
the last, gave my hand to the reverend gentleman, who
had bought a piece of land, and said to him: "Good-bye,
my good brother. You have some damned good land," and
here Boyd interrupted me.
"What is this? What is this I hear?"
"I say you have some damned good "
"Hush, hush!" said Boyd, and he dropped my hand as
forcibly as a man would drop a hot brick, and stood in silent
amazement as I got into the buggy and rode away amid
the shouts of laughter from those who had stood around
for the purpose.
"A MOON-EYED HORSE"
One night I was called to see a patient who lived ten
miles out in the country. A quarter moon was shining
and gave just light enough to make every white thing in
the woods look alike.
A road wound and twisted through the tall pines. Here
and there a narrow streak of sand was seen in the road
where it was much worn by one-horse country carts and
I was riding a large, fine horse, but he was moon-eyed,
so called because he could not see well when the moon was
shining. I called him "Mooney" so as not to forget his
infirmity, which to say the least of it, was very annoying
I had arquired the habit of sleeping in the saddle, as
I could in that way compensate for many a sleepless hour
spent at the bedside of some poor sufferer.
On that particular night I took two separate naps.
From the first nap I awoke in great trepidation. "Mooney"
was bobbing up and down to such an extent that I was
terribly shaken. I was almost jostled out of my wits. As
my eyes were opened I seized the horn of the saddle and
cried out: "Whoa! Whoa, Mooney! My God, have you
got a fit?" He certainly seemed to have a fit. I could
think of nothing else which would cause such queer action.
The first instictive thought was to leap from the saddle.
If I jumped I might be injured, yet I was afraid to remain
in the saddle because the horse must soon fall and might
cripple me for life. Sitting upon the back of a horse in
a fit is by no means a nervine. When I could endure it no
longer I leaped from the saddle and landed in the dew-wet
grass alongside of what I had mistaken for white sand in
the road. Instead of sand, it was a long, limbless pine log
which had lain many years in the sun and was barkless and
bleached white. The horse had left the road and was
trying to walk the log.
The road was found and "Mooney" was again headed
for the patient's home. The sick man should have been
reached by 5 o'clock that morning, but he was not seen
until after 8.
I did not know at what hour I went to sleep the second
time, but when I awakened my horse was eating green corn
in a fence corner and the sun was shining in my face.
"SURGERY IN THE DARK"
I was visiting the widow of a family named Snow. Dur-
ing the visit Billie Snow, one of the grown sons of the
widow, killed a neighbor named Snap Bean. The killing
was done with a small pocketknive used in self-defense.
Though conscious of right, yet fearing results even
though in the hands of the officers, Billie made an escape.
He crossed the Colorado River, which was quite near by,
and entered the dense forest which covered miles of coun-
try on that side.
The Beans were large cattle owners and had at their
command at all times a great number of men, both good
and bad. In less than an hour a hundred men were on
Billie's trail, swearing to kill him on sight. He was aware
of this, but must have food, and must take chances in pro-
curing it. Having withstood the cries of an empty stomach
sufficiently long, he got down on his hands and knees at
midnight and entered his home gate. He passed several
of his enemies, as he grunted like an old hog carelessly
looking for food along the ground. It was too dark for the
men to see that his feet stuck out behind him.
After entering the gate, which fortunately was open,
he passed under the house, lifted a loose board in the floor
of the kitchen and entered the building. His mother was
on the alert, as mothers always are, and she gave him food
and drink. She arranged a sack of things to eat and he
tied it over his stomach. Then he got down on his hands
and knees again and passed out by the seekers of his life
and returned to his refuge in the forest.
Before leaving the kitchen he exacted of his mother
the promise that she would request me to visit him at 12
o'clock of the next night at a spring six miles down in the
forest, and dress his wounded hand. His hand had been
badly cut in the fray, and having no attention was in dan-
ger of blood poison.
I recognized the request as either the result of extreme
necessity, grave apprehension or a violent presumption of
friendship. I realized the perils of such an act, but I
recalled the many evidences of friendship manifested by
the family, and decided to attempt the hazardous journey.
The night was very dark and a person could be seen
but a little way off, nevertheless the undertaking was such
as to require some determination to accomplish it. The
whole country around was filled with desperate men — men
who would not hesitate to take the life of anyone caught
shielding the man they sought.
At 11 o'clock I passed out of the house, armed with a
dark lantern, a surgeon's pocket case, a Colt's revolver and
a haversack well filled with good things for the inner man.
I crossed the backyard and entered a large cane field, from
which I emerged at a point very near the forest. On enter-
ing the forest I breathed easier. I believed I would be less
liable to collide with the enemies of my friend in the thick
wood. But alas, how false was my reasoning. Just as
I was consoling myself with the thought I saw three
objects which I supposed to be men. They were not fifty
feet away. I was not sure they were looking toward me,
but I was sure I saw them move. A moment more and all
doubt was removed. One of them hailed me.
"Who goes there?"
I did not reply. I was just at the limit of vision in
the darkness and I knew it would require a second to dis-
appear. It required but one strong, long leap and I leaped
for my life. I darted into the brush like a frightened deer
and I changed the direction of travel at the same time. As
I made my leap the hissing of flying bulets and the sharp
crack of pistols lent impetus to my fast receding form.
In a moment I felt that I was safe; safe from men who
seemed anxious to stain their hands in blood.
The signals agreed upon while Billie was in the kitchen
with his mother were a low, soft whistle which was to be
answered by the hoot of an owl.
When I believed I was near the spring I whistled. But
the owl did not hoot. What a dreadful feeling of anxiety
crept over me ! I felt so alone and so helpless. Had they
caught Billie? If so, had they murdered him? Could
there have been a mistake about the place of meeting, or
of the signals? Had I reached the right spot for whis-
tling? These and many were the self -propounded ques-
tions which arose to my mind as I stood alone in the dark
wood with dreaded enemies all around me. Who knew but
that Billie had been killed? Who knew but that his dead
body was not at that very moment lying near my feet?
Many and varied were the things which might have caused
the failure to hoot. Dead or alive, hd must be found, and
the reason for not responding to the whistle must be
With much caution I moved deeper into the forest and
whistled again. This time I was startled. The hoot fol-
lowed immediately and was so near I could almost feel
Billie's warm breath upon my ear. The imitation was so
perfect it was difficult to believe it was not the hoot of the
real old bird of ill omen; the bird so dreaded because of
the superstition which surrounds it.
A cup of water was gotten from the spring and we
stooped down very near to each other, face to face. We
drew Billie's blanket over our heads and close around us
to prevent the light being seen when the lantern was
brought into use.
The wound extended entirely across the hand, and the
bleeding had been stopped by placing a piece of leather
pocketbook over it. The hand had been closed tightly
down upon the leather and had remained so since the hour
of the cutting.
When half of the necessary stitches had been taken
in the wound the solder of the lantern melted away and
the oil ran out. It promptly took fire and burned in a big,
bright blaze. Immediately we sprang to our feet and
threw the blanket off. That exposed the light to any
person who might be around and we knew full well that
anyone who saw it would shoot at it. I threw the blanket
over the flame and smothered it. Then we moved several
rods deeper into the forest and the remaining stitches
were taken in the dark.
Just before daylight I reached my room and went to
bed, feeling I had done my duty to a friend.
On the following day I attempted to discharge my
pistol that it might be freshly loaded, but not a barrel
would shoot. It was evident that had I attempted to defend
myself with that pistol I would have been committing
A brother of mine was more fond of hunting than I,
and was pretty nearly as ready for a hazard as I. We
ventured an expedition on an uninhabited island fifteen
miles from the mainland in an eighteen-foot canoe. We
landed in safety and spent several days of pleasure roam-
ing the island over, but found no game.
The wind arose almost to a gale and forced us to remain
upon the island many more days than were anticipated.
We consumed all of our food and had not been suc-
cessful in the pursuit of fowl or beast of any character
whatever with which we could replenish our larder.
The storm raged and we grew hungry. Three days of
diligent search resulted in absolute failure to discover any-
thing which could be utilized as food.
Hunger began to pinch severely and we decided it would
be no worse for us to starve to death in the woods of the
island than at our camp, besides there was nothing to be
gained at the camp, while it was possible some means- of
success might be reached by continuing the search. We
directed the little negro boy whom we had taken along
to do the chores of the camp, to keep constantly on the
fire a pot of boiling sea water, and we agreed to leave the
camp in different directions and never return unless some-
thing for food was found.
We shook hands, embraced each other and bade fare-
well, because neither of us expected ever to see the other
again. It was a sad moment, but each forced a cheerful
smile on parting by way of bracing up the other.
I had proceeded but a little way when I discovered
a movement in the tall marsh grass which grew close by
the waterside. I was afraid to try to learn what was caus-
ing the grass to move. Afraid it might be some kind of
an animal which would elude me. I did not care what it
was. Anything from a rat to an elephant would suit me.
A polecat would have been highly appreciated. Meat was
what I wanted and meat was what I must have. I cocked
both barrels of my gun and I fired both at the same time
directly at the moving grass.
Trembling with the weakness of hunger, and fearing
I had missed the mark, I ran to the spot and found, to my
great gratification, I had killed a hungry old sow.
The most promtply obtainable thing was the liver, a
thing I had always loathed. But I had drawn my pocket-
knife as I ran and I cut out a part of the liver and started
to the camp. My brother, having heard the shot, came to
me and in a short space of time we were ravenously devour-
ing half -cooked liver, the sweetest morsel it had ever been
our privilege to eat. At our leisure we secured the rest
of the animal, upon which we subsisted during the next
On the third day after the liver feast the storm had
calmed to a marked degree and we put our lanterns, bed-
ding — in fact, all of our belongings — into the boat and
started home in the afternoon. Tide and wind were against
us and progress was very slow. We had hoped to reach
the shore by the end of the afternoon, but it seemed an
impossibility. The night came on and was very dark. We
battled with the waves until our strength was exhausted.
We could no longer wield the oars with force and the tide
was taking us out to sea.
I saw a light in the distance and it proved to be a pass-
ing steamboat. Instantly I recalled the fact that I was
a Mason and it was more than probable there was a Mason
on that boat. It would, indeed, be unusual not to find a
Mason in a bunch of men of sufficient numbers to man
a ship. At any rate, I caused that ship to turn her course,
slow down, take us in and land us safely upon the shore.
Of course you wonder how I did it. All that I will tell you
of the how it was done is that, any Mason could tell you
if he would.
"A BRUSH WITH INDIANS"
I went out on the Staked Plains of Texas for a hunt,
accompanied by Dr. Bower of Alabama. We were strenu-
ously advised against the expedition, as wild Indians were
still in the country and the undertaking was a dangerous
one. Two months previously a party of eight had under-
taken the same expedition and not one of them ever re-
turned. However, this did not deter Dr. Bower or me. We
crossed the Colorado River and went into Tom Green
County, which was at that time four hundred miles long
and extended to the Mexican border. The country was
filled with wild animals, and panthers and Mexican lions
screamed about our camp every night, while wolves rent
the air with their bowlings and robbed us of many an
We camped one night about fifty miles beyond the most
western settlement. Our tent was at the foot of a flat top
hill, which lay between streams, just at the confluence of
Brady Creek and a tributary stream from the south. The
hill pointed at the meeting of the two waters and was cov-
ered with tall grass. The tent was on the side of the
tributary stream and just across the hill on Brady Creek
there was a clump of sycamore and elm trees. On the
other side of Brady Creek from the clump of trees there
was a vast valley of sunflowers extending to the rising
Late in the afternoon I picked up my rifle and walked
away, saying "I will go over to the clump of trees and
bring back a turkey for breakfast." I crossed over the hill
and began the descent toward the trees. I had gone but
a few feet down when I heard a rustle in the underbrush
which grew thick beneath the trees.
There was a simultaneous "Ough" which came from
the brush, and brought me to a sudden stand. Immedi-
ately a group of Indians sprang to their feet. My feelings
at that moment can never be accurately described. My
surprise was truly great. My scalp contracted as though
under the influence of some powerful astringent. I had
but the one gun and the one cartridge, but I threw the
gun to my shoulder and fired. As I did this I ran back
over the hill, and it seemed that every Indian was armed
and fired at me. Just as I reached the point where the
descent began I fell, and that is perhaps what saved my life.
Dr. Bower, hearing the rapid firing, knew there was
trouble and he came to the rescue as quickly as possible,
bringing every gun in the camp. He met me at the middle
of the hilltop and we breathlessly awaited the coming of
the redskin foe. There was no time for planning; we sim-
ply acted upon thoughts which had frequently presented
since we left our homes and. friends to risk 'our lives in a
country infested with wild Indians and ferocious beasts.
There was but one of two things to do. We must
stand, fight and take the possible chance of life, or show
the white feather and die like dogs at the hands of pitiless
brutes. Every moment we expected to see the red faces
pop up from behind the hill, and we stood ready to give
battle at the first glimpse of their heads. Each moment
seemed a day and it seemed the day would never end.
Just as the sun was fading out of sight we saw a group
of men emerge from the sunflowers, on the other side of
the Valley, and disappear in the distance beyond the hills.
We then returned to our camp and entered the tent, expect-
ing to be fired upon at any hour of the night. We made
no fire, ate* no supper, and we laid down with our clothes
on and our guns in our hands. We dared not sleep and we
passed the hours in silence until about 4 o'clock in the
At that hour the tent door opened and a dark object
stood squarely in it. In an instant there was a deafening
report of a rifle and the intruder fell directly into the bed
between us. Quicker than it can be told, we were on the
outside of the tent. We were not expecting company with
whom we cared to spoon, so we gave up the whole bed.
We just rolled out under the sides of the tent and met at
the back of it.
At the dawn of day Dr. Bower peeped under the tent,
and he saw a large black bear stiff in death in the middle
of the bed. He had shot the bear through the heart, but
did not until that moment suspect the deadliness of his aim.
A bullethole was found through my hat and one through
my shirt, under the right arm, which showed how near
I had come to answering the last call.
A trail of blood showed the directions the Indians had
taken, and it was believed one of them had been carried
away, as was their custom when one is either killed or
seriously wounded. The one shot prevented an attack
upon our camp that night, and probably saved our lives.
"A SACRIFICIAL CAVE"
The widow Nelson and Miss Higgins of San Francisco
explored a cave in company with Joe Kopp and my-
self. That particular cave was in the middle of a lava
flow which was half a mile wide and perhaps thousands of
years old. It was known as the Sacrificial Cave and most
persons were afraid to go into it. It was filled with skele-
tons and tradition said tons of blood had been spilt in it.
The entrance was a large opening about twenty feet
wide, as many deep, and dropped straight down to a very
rough floor. The little party reached the floor by means
of ropes. This, the first room, extended some fifty feet
underground and inclined toward the sea. The ceung was
twelve feet high. In the center of the large room there
was a pile of rocks four feet high, four feet wide, six feet
long, and capped by a smooth flat rock which covered the
entire top accurately. Upon this flat rock many a person
had yielded up the ghost to some imaginary, or to some
flesh and blood god. The back wall did not appear to be
natural. It was evidently a work of art and the party
found a concealed passway through it, very near the floor.
The passage was closed by an immense rock which required
the combined strength of the entire party to dislodge it.
I led the party through the passway, which was thirty
feet long and barely large enough to* admit one person at
a time in a stooping posture. In concealed apartments on
either side of the passway there were many curiosities,
such as beads, belts, etc., which were added to my collec-
tion. There were also vast quantities of human bones in
each of the rooms. In many localities in the cave there
were great piles of crumbling bones. Occasionally a sin-
gle skeleton would be found. Some were in plain view
upon the floor and others were hidden in secret crannies
high up on the walls where it would seem impossible to
take a corpse.
About a quarter of a mile from the mouth of the cave,
in the center of the floor, there was a large rock which
resembled a turtle and it was carved all over with hiero-
glyphics. To constitute hieroglyphics, characters must
have a significance, and it was believed these had, as they
were seen in several other caves, many of them being
exactly alike. They pre-dated the knowledge of man, and
the only tradition concerning them was that they were
the writings of conjurers and sorcerers in the years of
superstition, long since passed.
Farther along in the cave we came to a corpse in
dugout— a coffin made of the trunk of a tree of hardwooc
which had endured for ages, but it was now advanced in
decay and only required a jolt to crumble it to fragments,
if not to dust. I gave the coffin a kick, unseen by tht
women, and it fell to pieces, corpse and all. The candles
carried by Kopp and I were instantly blown out, and each
woman uttered a lively scream and grabbed her man. As
it was not very pleasant to be seized by a screaming woman,
the candles were religted and the screaming ceased.
When we had sufficiently amused ourselves we returnee
to the mouth of a cave. There I found a vertebra of
jackass. Unobserved, I penciled a nose, mouth, eyes and.
ears upon the smooth articular surface of the bone, and it
resembled an Episcopal priest to a very comical extent.
I stooped down and pretended to pick it up at the moment
and proclaimed the finding of a Hawaiian god. Hawaiian
gods were scarce and of high price, hence the find was a
rare and valuable one.
The ladies became wild with excitment over it and
after many expressions of admiration and desire for owner-
ship I promised to ship the god by express to them at their
home in San Francisco.
Every person met by the ladies afterward was told of
the valued possession and the expressions of countenance
worn by the women told of their delight more forcibly than
words could express.
They promised to write, but they never did. The horse
laugh they got on exhibiting their Hawaiian god in San
Francisco must have induced feelings they did not care to
express upon paper.
"COURTING IN A FISH POND"
There was a beautiful girl living in the country. Her
home was two miles from the main road which led to a
famous fish pond. I had not yet gradauted at medicine
and was attending college, but I became deeply infatuated
with the girl and was frequently in her company.
One afternoon I took her to the fish pond. The horse
was tied to a tree. We took a boat and were soon lost to
view among the trunks of lofty water-born trees. The pond
occupied many acres of ground and was thickly studded
with tall cypress trees which were draped with long wav-
ing gray moss that cast spooky shadows upon the dark
water. Ducks, water turkeys, comorants and cranes of
every description squawked and flitted here and there both
upon the trees and upon the water. The unique surround-
ings produced the weird state in which one feels at the
same time spooky and romantic.
We came to the trunk of a fallen tree so inclined that
a person could walk upon it. The limbs were laden with
beautiful moss and the girl expressed a desire for some
of it. With the agility of youth I sprang upon the log and
secured the moss. But when I attempted to return to the
boat the lady gave a strong stroke of the paddel and sent
it far out of my reach.
"Now, if you were my lover," she said, "I would hold
you where you are until you said 'Yes.' "
"How romantic that sounds. I am your lover. Now
will you let me get into the boat and prove it ?"
"Yes/ she said, and the boat was placed at my feet.
When I was safely seated in the boat I dared her to
walk upon the log as I had done.
"I am as active and fearless as you are, sir. Take the
boat to the tree and I will convince you."
As nimbly as a gazelle she sprang upon the log and was
ready in a moment to return to the boat with a handful
of the moss. But it was my time now. I had gotten her
on the log for the purpose. "Now," said I, you will say
'Yes' to me or drown in an attempt to swim to the shore.
Will you marry me? Say 'Yes' or I will leave you where
She looked me in the eye as though in a deep brown
study and after a seemingly long pause she spoke:
"Are you in earnest ? Do you mean what you say ?"
"Do I not look it? Do I not act it? Does not every
word I utter carry its full meaning? Of course I mean it.
Say 'Yes' and forever drive from my anxious breast that
constant longing which is ever present in a single man's
breast. Get into the boat and name a day. Name an hour.
The earlier the better."
"Your manner reassures me, and I say 'Yes.' "
"Then name an hour."
"Anytime would suit me," she said. "I would say'
"Right now is impossible, since we have no license and
no minister, but we may drive immediately to town and
We started for the shore and I was so excited I jammed
the boat into many a tree. But that was no surprise. I
could not keep my eyes off of the girl. She was short,
plump, had dark hair, ravishing black eyes and was built
like a quail. With a fair complexion and rosy cheeks she
resembled a rich, ripe peach just ready to drop, and I
imagined myself holding the basket into which the peach
was to fall.
We started to the town to secure the license and there
were but a few words spoken. I did a lot of thinking and
she was as silent as a budding rose.
Mentally, 1 recalled the fact that my mother disliked
the girl because she had attended a dance within two
months of a brother's burial, and my father agreed with
my mother. Certainly neither parent would rejoice at the
act. Madam Rumor said she had been engaged before,
and she might have been kissed by some other fellow, in
which event I would not want her for a wife. The more
I reflected upon the grave question the greater grew my
desire to recant. What does a medical student want with
a wife, anyway? What could I do with her? It was sure
I could not take her to my old home, and I had no other
place for her. Indeed, I was up again a difficult propo-
We were approaching a road which led to her home, so
I offered her the privilege of driving. When she had taken
the reins I told her if she drove beyond the road which
led to her home I would believe she was in earnest. To
my dismay she drove on past the road as though it had
no existence. I fully believed she would turn into the
road, but I was grasping at a straw. I felt like a man
who is about to be drowned.
The city church steeples were now in sight and the
town clock was striking the hour of seven. Soon it would
be too late for me or her to change mind and not become
the talk of the town. We caught sight of the court house
where the license office was located and a chill ran down
my back. I stopped the horse still in the road, screwed up
more courage than I dreamed I possessed, and said to her:
"Do you not think we are a little hasty? Would you
not prefer waiting a while, perhaps a week?" In a sub-
dued tone she replied:
"Just as you like, sir."
That settled the matter and we were soon in her father's
parlor, where we sat until midnight, almost in silence. We
just gazed at the fire and listened in deep sighs as they
came from each other's throbbing breast.
Long before the week of waiting was over I discovered
she was engaged to six other deluded lads who were expect-
ing to reap the fond embraces of the dizzy damsel.
I immediately resigned from the club.
"KILAUEA— ASLEEP IN A CRATER"
The road which leads from Hilo to the Hawaiian volcano
Kilauea is thiry miles long and is a veritable dream. It
winds in and out of gulches, through dense forests and
rises with a 6 per cent grade nearly all the way. It was
constructed by the Government at a cost of many thou-
sand dollars per mile. Nature has hedged this road with
wild flowers and fruits which bloom and bear all the year
around. Roses, belladonna, blossoms, honeysuckle and
other flowers fill the air with a mingled aroma, and the
eye feasts upon the richest of green foliage. The thick
forest of tall trees is made denser by the fern trees and
the ie-ie vine which reaches to the tops of tall trees, com-
pletely enveloping them, and saps them of life.
So tropical is the scenery along this road that one ex-
pects to see monkeys hanging by their tails; parrots flit
from limb to limb, or serpents squirming among the
branches of the trees. One listens for the squawk of large
birds and the twitter of small ones, but is disappointed.
There is neither a wild monkey nor a parrot nor a snake
upon either of the islands of the group, and the absence
of small birds is marked.
The Volcano Hotel is situated at the very brink of the
crater. All around about and under the house sulphur
steam escapes from fissures in the ground. It is from
those that sulphur steam is piped into the bath room, where
natural sulphur baths are taken for the cure of disease as
well as for pleasure. From every front window of the hotel
a good view of the crater can be had, though but few visi-
tors are satisfied until they go down into it.
Kilauea, the large crater, is three miles in diameter, ,
nine hundred feet deep, and holds the lesser crater within
its bounds. The lesser crater is just a great hole, half
a mile in diameter, which seems to drop down through the
floor of the large crater.
One descends, either on foot or on horseback, along a
zigzag trail made for the purpose. When the floor is
reached a trail is found which leads to the small crater
and is marked by whitewash on large stones. There are]
no footprints. The floor is formed of lava, cooled into
a crust which rests upon the melted stuff below, and no J
one knows how thick the crust it. The floor is as irregular
in its convolutions and depressions as the face of a raging
sea, and it rises gradually toward the small crater. The
small crater is called Halemaumau, which in the Hawaiian
tongue means House of Ever-Living Fire. It is constantly
aglow and is frequently disturbed by violent action. The
large crater is only in a molten state at intervals of years.
The process of cooling has riven the floor of the crater
with large and small cracks, and long before Halemaumau
is reached one sees hot sulphur steam and apparently
tongues of fire leaping from them. Many of the cracks
are so hot one cannot stand near them without burning
one's shoes. They have to be crossed by a quick jump to
avoid inhaling the hot steam which is pungent with sulphur.
At periods of time varying in length "Madame Pele,"
the goddess of fire, who, according to Hawaiian lore, lives
in and controls the volcano, becomes angry and spits her
wrath through this mightly hole in the earth with hellish
effect. The great pit fills to overflowing with molten stone
which splashes and roars, and terror fills the hearts of the
superstitious. Sometimes Halemaumau assumes a state
of semi-quietness when full. An idea of it may be gained
by comparing it to an inverted saucer. The little rim upon
which the saucer sits when upright represents when in-
verted the rim of Halemaumau when full. The rim of
the small crater, distinctly elevated above the floor of the
large crater, is formed by lava cooled by contact with the
air as it rises out of the mouth of the crater. Thus it
forms its own barrier to its overflow. There is a constant
heating and cooling of the surface of the pit, and it changes
from the various colors of red to white and back again to
red. This occurs in streaks which, criss-crossing and paral-
leling, reminds one of a million of fiery serpents writhing
in a jumbled mass. The lava hisses and sizzles, and burst-
ing now and then with a loud report open fountains which
send columns of melted stone hundreds of feet into the
air. The glow, as seen from the hotel at night, interrupted
by a play of lava fountains, is entrancing. Imagine a rocket
many millions of times larger than any you have ever seen
and you will conceive something of an idea of a fountain
in a volcano. Notwithstanding the formidable appearance
of Halemaumau when full, one may approach from the
windward near enough to stir the lava with a stick. The
stick will burn as tissue paper over a spirit lamp.
East of the volcano it rains nearly every day, while on
the west it seldom rains at all.
Beyond the volcano the road leads in part over bare
lava, a flow over which vegetation has not yet grown. In
such sections there is no digging of postholes or graves.
Posts are stood upon end and rocks piled around them until
they stand. Where the natives did not deposit their dead
in caves they laid them upon the ground and built graves
by piling rocks upon and around them until the corpses
were several feet under rock. The rocks were usually
evenly laid and formed an oblong square four feet high,
four feet wide and six feet long. They were made amply
large to prevent disturbance by wild dogs.
I visited Kilauea one night in company with two other
men. Everything seems exaggerated at night, and distant
objects seem much nearer than they really are. Heated
points show more distinctly, contrasts are greater and the
yawning cavern seems more formidable by starlight than
by the light of the sun.
We reached the little crater and sat on the very brink,
allowing our feet to hang over the roaring, bubblinb, melted
stone fifteen hundred feet below us, and we enjoyed the
most wonderful, awe-inspiring scene of all God's creations.
Growing tired and sleepy we laid down and were soon
lost to all the discomforts of our stony bed. We did not
awake until aroused by the sun, which was shining hot
upon us. We had slept withing six feet of the fiery hole,
at the bottom of which there was a boiling, bubbling mass
of melted stone, which surely can be of no less heat than
the place we all so dread.
Upon arising we extinguished our lanterns and started
across the floor of the large crater toward the hotel. We
noticed a large crack which formed a complete crescent
around the place where we had spent the night. Each end
of the crescent crack broke into the rim of the little crater.
Long before reaching the wall of the large crater, up
which one must climb to reach the hotel, we heard a long,
loud roar; a terrible, continued rumbling which echoed and
re-echoed and terrified us with its hellish reverberations.
Thinking the crater was performing some wonderful feat,
we went back to it.
When we reached the crater we found the whole of the
crescent upon which we had passed the night, a part of
the time in oblivious slumber, had slipped its moorings and
was fifteen hundred feet below and melting in the heated
We looked down over the rugged cliff, far down into
the horribly heated abyss, shuddered and thanked God for
our escape from a dreadful death.
"A JOKER PUNISHED"
At a hotel in Fort Worth, then a town of six hundred
inhabitants, there was a dance given in honor of Dr. Hunt-
ing and myself. The crowd was slow in gathering and
when a few couples had arrived I planned a joke on them.
I asked Hunting to tell the crowd that I, Hunter, was a
fine fellow but had fits, and at times was very dangerous.
However,- it was easy to escape me, as premonitory symp-
toms always foretol the coming of an attack. Dr. Hunting
told them that when an attack was coming on I would
rise from my seat, turn around and sit down again with-
out ever making a break in conversation. After a third
turn I would become wild and scatter persons and things
to the four winds.
Through sympathy, or curiosity, the crowd gathered
around me on one side of the room. Suddenly I jumped
up, turned around and sat down again without appearing
to realize what I had done. In a moment some of the crowd
passed over to the other side of the room. In a few min-
utes I arose and turned again. Quickly everyone left me
except two ladies who were seated immediately next to me,
one on each side. They exhibited dire distress, but I held
them by not lagging in conversation. I arose for my third
turn and the two ladies went like frightened swallows to
the outer door. The rest of the crowd followed in reckless
haste, almost climbing over each other in the flight.
For an instant I was the sole occupant of the ballroom,
but a burst of hearty laughter brought the crowd back.
Some took the joke kindly, others laughed hysterically,
while others were hard to convince that such a joke, with-
out foundation in fact, could be played with such a straight
A few nights after leaving Fort Worth we camped in
the brush which grew at the side of a flowing stream, and
we made our bed underneath the buggy to avoid the dew.
About 2 o'clock in the morning we were aroused from
a deep sleep by the sound of horses' hoofs. The clatter
came nearer and nearer and grew louder as it approached.
We concluded a herd of stampeded horses was, passing,
but as we were a little way from the road and our animal
was chained to a tree, we felt quite safe.
few embers of the campfire still showed the situation
of the buggy, and just as the wildly rushing herd dashed
into the crossing of the creek the Indian warwhoop rang
clear and loud upon the chilled air of the night. Along
with the whoop there came a rain of bullets and arrows,
and we glided into the thickest of the brush near by.
On returning to the buggy, after all danger had passed,
we found one spoke of a hind wheel had been shattered
by a bullet and an arrow had pinned the blankets together
in the middle of the bed.
Notwithstanding the danger had passed, we did not
sleep any more that night.
"IN AN EARTHQUAKE CRACK"
While living in Hilo, Hawaii, I made a trip around the
crater of Kilauea with Sam Walace, Nicolas Dutro and
Thomas Mallard. When we reached the sand flow on the
opposite side of the crater from the hotel, which tradition
says blew out of the crater like a great flying river and
buried a wing of Kameamea's army, we found footing ex-
ceedingly difficult and dangerous. The sand is light, soft
and fluffy, being of pulverized pumice. The sand flow- is
two miles wide and is riven with cracks, both large and
small. They diverge from the crater like spokes from the
hub of a wheel and they vary in width from an inch to
many feet. Many of the narrow cracks are covered with
sand and could not be seen. Frequently the foot of a horse,
or both front or hind feet, would slip into one of these
hidden cracks and frighten himself and his rider dread-
fully. The animal would lunge and struggle until he pulled
himself out of it, but the uncertainty of success would try
the nerves of man and beast.
Hot sulphur fumes blew up through certain places in
the cracks, so pungent as to be painful to noses and eyes,
Even the horses realized the peril, for though they were
willing, spirited brutes, they practically refused to continue
the journey. Find it so difficult to get them along, each
one was tied securely to the saddle of the other and they
were left. We proceeded on our treacherous route on foot.
Time has proven the tradition of Kameamea's army
and the sand flow quite true, for erosion has exposed exten-
sive fields of bleaching bones. Upon nearing the vast and
ancient sepulchre the scene of the soft, smooth sand is
changed into that of a gruesome sight. The different bones
of the human frame could be recognized by their exposed
points. Arm and leg bones protruded many inches above
the surface, and hip bones, skulls, ribs and backbones could
be plainly seen. Teeth and nose and eyesockets peeped
through the sand and suggested the presence of spooks.
The scene produced a sensation at once uncanny and chill-
ing. The bleached bones, in contrast with the dark brown
sand, suggested a field of mushrooms ready for the harvest.
At length we reached a long and wide earthquake crack.
Doubtless it antedated the sand flow by many years. Like
all cracks of the kind, it was wider at some points than at
others. At certain places it could be easily crossed while
at others it was not less than a hundred feet wide and
By means of jutting crags we went down into the crack.
We jumped from ledge to ledge and assisted each other by
holding a hand or foot as suited our convenience at the
time. When we had gotten down about four hundred feet
into the crack we passed under rocks which had become
jammed at a narrow point of the crack and had closed it
from that point upward. Dislodgements of time had filled
in from above and formed a complete bridge many feet
thick. Going on down underneath this bridge we were
soon where the sun never shines and all was blackest night.
We lighted our candles and proceeded on down, going far-
ther and farther from the light of day all the while.
Finally we were stopped by a precipitous decline where
further progress was too hazardous by dim candlelight.
We had reached the edge of a bottomless abyss. There
dropped down before us a great and frightful hole as black
as night and nothing could be seen beyond it. Now it was
seen that further progress was impossible, lights or no
lights, for there was no way to pass around the ugly hole.
It occupied the entire space across the crack. Rocks of
fifty pounds or more in weight were rolled into the cavern
and no sound returned, notwithstanding every ear was
strained in the endeavor to hear them strike somewhere.
Of course this necessitated our return, and we started
away fully determined to return with lanterns and ropes
and descend to the full depths of the frightful pit, if it was
possible to do so.
The return journey was an exhausting task. We
climbed under great difficulties, expecting momentarily to
see the light of day, but the darkness hung on. We were
puzzled and greatly alarmed. We feared we had, in some
mysterious way, lost our course and were entombed in the
bowels of the earth forever. Life would be a burden under
such circumstances, but fortunately it would not last long.
After all, what difference does it make where a man
dies? He has but one time to die, and an early demise
sometimes averts a deal of pain and sorrow, When a man
is dead he is soon forgotten, even though imperishable
marble indicates the fact that he once lived. Be this as
it may, but few are ever ready to go; and it was certain
neither of us were ready, or willing to go. We tried hard
to discover a key to the trying situation and to devise
means of deliverance from our lamentable situation.
Suddenly there was a startled exclamation by Mallard.
"Ye gods, come here, boys!"
He had found our empty lunch sack which had been
left at the point where we had entered the crack. It was
indeed a joyous find, for by it we knew that we were upon
the surface of the earth again. But we were puzzled by
the darkness. Neither of us had a watch, and we never
dreamed it was night until the clouds thinned away a little,
a few stars twinkled for a moment and a pale moon was
seen sinking in the distant sea. What hour of the night
it was then, or what time we had spent in the bowels of
the earth, no one could tell. Just at that moment we caught
sight of the light on the flagpole at the hotel, which was
evidently directly across the crater. By means of this light
we determined upon a course and started to the hotel. In
an airline the distance was four miles, but over the tortuous
course we would have to take it was at least three times as
It began to rain and the wind blew out our candles and
it became at once intensely dark. No wood for torches
could be found upon the bare lava flow and no candle could
live in the strong wind. Walking in the dark was exceed-
ingly dangerous, for the surface was riven with cracks into
which one might fall and disappear forever.
The storm brewed afresh, but as there is never a situa-
tion so grave but that there is something to be thankful
for, we gave thanks for the repeated flashes of lightning
which aided us in choosing the way. The moon was gone
and all stars were hidden from sight. The angry black
clouds hung low and hugged the earth like the somber drap-
ings of a bier. All at once the clouds seemed to burst and
sent down a deluge which seemed to wet us to the very
bone. Notwithstanding this, we proceeded slowly on, often
getting down to feel the way with our hands.
After a time the rain ceased and we reached the tim-
bered section, where we provided ourselves with torches.
But the torches were of no value in showing the direction
we should go. We completely lost our reckoning and after
a consultation it was decided we would remain right where
we were for the remainder of the night. Proceeding far-
ther in the darkness, we might be forever lost in the dense
A large fire was made of fallen logs, around which we
sat contentedly talking and drying our clothes. But this
was too good to continue. The rain began again and it
came down in torrets, such as only Hawaii can produce.
It wetted us thoroughly again, and put out every spark
of our fire. Then we sat upon the the charred logs in the
dark — wet, cold, sleepy, tired and hungry — and prayed for
the coming of the dawn.
The first rays of light from the rising sun filled us
with gratitude and disgust. We were within two hundred
feet of the hotel fence.
"IN A TEXAS CAVE"
There is a cave on the Colorado River called "McCree
Cave." A crowd, of which I was a member, visited the
cave in two large wagons. On fording the river, which was
not more than three feet deep, a wagon was stopped by
stones over which it could not pass without assistance.
I knew what was necessary, so I leaped into the water and
called upon the other men to follow me. By the combined
strength of man and beast the wagon was taken on across.
The crossing was just above some dangerous rapids
which terminate in a waterfall of several feet in height.
The rocky bottom of the river was as slippery as though
coated with oil. As the wagon moved off my feet slipped
and I fell, going entirely under the water. It was difficult
to. regain footing once it was lost, for the force of the cur-
rent was very strong. Every time I arose to the surface
I would slip again and fall. My head was out of the water
just often enough to keep from drowning. All the while
I was going downstream with the rapidity of the swift cur-
rent. I struggled fiercely to maintain my footing, but it
was impossible. I went over the falls in the terribly roar-
ing water and disappeared from sight.
One of the ladies of the party fainted and the rest of
them screamed. But the fright did not last long, because
I was soon seen to climb up the bank below with only a
few mementos of the occasion in the form of a few scratches
McCree Cave opens into a perpendicular rock wall about
two hundred feet high. This wall runs parallel to the river
a great way and is broken here and there by gulches which
take the rain water from the hills to the river. Between
this wall and the water there is a flat table of land averag-
ing fifty feet in width, which is also broken by gulches.
Over one of these latter gulches it was impossible to take
the wagons, so the horses were detached and ridden the
remainder of the way to the cave.
There were no saddles, so the gentlemen mounted the
horses bareback and each took a lady on behind him. The
ladies rode sideways and each had to hold on to her man
to keep from falling off. The more frisky the horse, the
more tightly the girl had to hold, so the gentle old plug
I was riding took on new life. He was tickled in the ribs
just enough to insure a firm grasp around the waist by
a pair of beautiful white arms. An occasional sharp kick
in the side would make the old horse jump and insure a
more warm embrace which was not altogether distasteful
The first two hundred yards led straight into the cave,
which was wide enough to admit a large wagon. Much
farther in a pool of water about thirty feet wide was en-
countered, and it stretched from side to side of the cave.
I led the the way into the water, feeling in front of me all
the while with a pole. When safe passage was demon-
strated the women were taken across in human chairs,
made by a man holding his own left wrist with his right
hand and the right wrist of some other man with the left
hand. The men and women were all dressed as befited
the occasion, except a fastidious youth from Houston. He
had been recently admitted to the bar, and was on his dig-
nity. He wore a beautiful white flannel suit, patent leather
shoes, a white collar and an immaculate white tie. He
asked me to take him across the water as I had taken the
ladies. There was a ready assent, and a wink to one of
the boys brought an assistant for making the human chair.
The lawyer was assisted to the seat and he held a hand
on the head of each of us. He was in high glee and joked
the other fellows about getting wet. When the middle of
the pool was reached I pretended to stumbel and I fell; at
the same time I turned the lawyer heels over head in the
water and he was completely submerged. When he arose
to his feet he was coughing and sneezing and cursing up
his sleeve. He was a much disgusted man and no doubt
wondered why he had been such a fool as to request the
A little farther on the cave became more interesting.
It opened high and wide and the roof could only be seen
by concentrating the torches and candles. There were
myriads of stalactites and stalagmites both great and
small, and each glistened with a silvery sheen.
While we were examining these wondrous works of
nature there was a snarling growl heard in the darkness
beyond us. Everyone was startled and the women seized
each other in fright. Several of the men drew their pis-
tols, and one of them fired in the direction of the noise.
Immediately a large black bear rushed upon us. He
knocked one of the ladies down and jumped over the law-
yer, who was already down trying to hide behind the ladies,
and disappeared in the direction of the mouth of the cave.
Frightened almost into imbecility, all of the women fol-
lowed the bear. When the pool was reached there was no
hesitation. They plunged into it as though it did not exist,
and they came out on the other side wet to the waist. No
form of appeal from the men could slacken their pace, and
they tarried not until well beyond the mouth of the cave.
"A TIMID GROOM"
A bridal party doing a tour of the world was stopping
at the Volcano House at the crate rof Kilauea in Hawaii.
They had been there several days, but had not been induced
to go down into the crater, as all other visitors were doing.
The groom was a natural-born coward, but the bride was
as brave as a lioness. She was very anxious to go into the
crater with the rest of the visitors, but her husband would
not go nor would he permit her to go without him. She
was subject to the will of her peculiar "lord and master."
On the bride's account, as well as for the fun I expected
to have out of him, I determined to get him into the crater
if it was possible to do so. I made friends with the fellow,
whom we will call "Lincoln" because he was from Lincoln,
After some days of persuasion the man was induced to
make the trip, provided I would accompany him. We went
on horseback and I took a position between Lincoln and
his wife in a crowd which rode single file. It was not long
after the floor of the large crater was reached that Lin-
coln began to express dismay and kick.
Sulphur fume was coming up from hot cracks all over
the cool lava floor of the crater, and the nearer we were
to the small crater the hotter they were. The small crater
is a crater within a crater. It is but a deep half-mile diam-
eter hole which just drops down through the floor of the
large crater. Lincoln said he believed nine-tenths of those
who went into the crater lost their lives and that the news-
papers suppressed the fact in the interest of the, hotel.
"Nonsense," said I. "This is as safe a place as there is
upon the island. No life has ever been lost here except
that of a man who died of fright. Just keep up a stout
heart, a stiff upper lip, follow your guide and fear not."
Soon we reached a rock corral built on the floor of the
large crater to protect the animals from cold wind which
is/ often keenly felt in the crater. The animals cannot be
taken any farther than the corral because the cracks be-
come too hot and wide. When the crowd dismounted Lin-
coln seized the right arm of his wife and followed me,
I led him out of the regular trail where he would have to
cross an especially wide and hot crack. To lead him to the
slaughter gradually he was taken across several smaller
cracks first. Nevertheless when he began to feel the heat
and smell the sulphur he balked and began to beg.
"I want to go home. Please take me out. This is a
dangerous place. You have a right to commit suicide if
you like, but you have no right to lead others in here to
lose their lives. I want to go home."
"Then follow me," said I, "and I will lead you out. Just
jump across this crack as you see I have done and we will
return you to the corral."
That particular crack was the desired spot to which I
wished to lead him. It was the hottest in the crater, but
Lincoln did not know it. Having seen me pass over the
crack and remain alive, he gripped his wife's arm with
renewed fervor and they leaped the crack together. When
they landed on the other side they were completely envel-
oped in pungent sulphur fumes taken to that side by the
wind. There was absolutely no danger, but the irritating
smell was sufficient to impress Lincoln as never before.
He yelled like a wild goat and begged the Hawaiian guide
to take him home, and with wet eyes he looked appeal-
ingly at me as he spoke.
"I cannot go another foot. How do you know but that
in five minutes we will all be in hell ? I will not go another
The poor devil stood all aquiver and tears rolled down
his cheeks. I led him back to the corral, where he and
his wife, the latter thoroughly disgusted, mounted horses
and returned to the hotel.
Lincoln, the source of my fun, being gone, I lost interest
in the little crater, with which I was very familiar, having
visited it many times at all hours of the day and night.
I. left the crowd on the brink of the crater, where men,
women and children were looking down into the wonderful
hole, watching the constantly changing scenery and listen-
ing to the frightful noises emanating from the bowels of the
earth. I strolled over to the big, hot crack which had fright-
ened Lincoln nearly into imbecility and I wrapped myself
snugly up in my pommel slicker, laid down on the lava to
the leeward of the crack where I would be kept warm by the
steam which emanated from its depths and went to sleep,
but was soon aroused by a pungent burning in my back.
Placing my hand underneath my body I put my fingers in
a small crack, the hot steam from which was burning
through my clothing to my skin. I rolled over from the
crack and went to sleep again. This time I slept a long
while and when I arose again I went back to the little
crater in search of my companions, but found they had
all gone away. Then I went to the corral where the horses
had been left and they, too, were gone. Fortunately the
stars were shining with a brightness which gave light by
which I found my way back to the edge of the crater floor.
I climbed up the nine hundred feet to the surface of the
earth and reached the hotel just at the dawn of day. I
was left in the crater because it was thought I had returned
with Lincoln and his wife, and no one dreamed one would
risk or seek solitude in such a dismal place.
Lincoln took the first boat which left the islands, swear-
ing he would cut Italy out of his itinerary because of its
"THE HAWAIIAN, THE MISSIONARY"
The Hawaiian is an amible, generous, hospitable fellow.
He will give away anything, everything — even his children
he will give to his friends. I was physician to a family of
five children and not one was a legitimate heir. They had
been given to the couple who was caring for them, and
their own had been given to others to rear. To express
admiration for a thing is to own it. It will be immediately
proffered and if refused the would-be donor will be injured
A small puppy belonging to me fell into an earthquake
crack which was perhaps two feet wide in the widest
places, and apparently bottomless. There were ledges on
either side of the crack which obscured vision and the
puppy was soon out of sight, but it could be heard con-
tinuously whining, seemingly at a great distance below, so
it was certain it had londged on a ledge. A Hawaiian
procured a rope about sixtey feet in length, tied it securely
around the waist of a very small brother and lowered him
down in the crack out of sight. When the little boy gave
a signal he was drawn out, and he had the puppy in his
arms. I handed the man several silver dollars, which he
refused to take, and seemed injured at the proposition to
In the long, long ago there were no thefts in Hawaii.
Even as late as the year nineteen hundred vendors exposed
along the roadside such products as they wished to sell
and the purchaser sold to himself. He made his own
change and deposited the money in the place of the article
Toward night the owner, not having appeared during
the entire day, would take back to his house the unsold
commodities and the proceeds of the day. They were cared
for at night solely to avert depredations by wild cattle,
dogs or hogs, the only wild beasts to be found upon the
islands. No doors were ever locked. A family might leave
a house for weeks at a time and find everything in place
when it returned. The house might be occupied by passers,
but everything would be left in perfect order.
Step by step since the advent of the missionary condi-
tions have changed. There were no locks nor chains nor
prisons. The dispensor of the Christian religian created
necessity for all these things. At least pilfering, pistols
and prisons have followed in his wake. A missionary to
Guam, passing Hawaii, offered me the assurance of riches
in land deals if I would join him in Guam, but his proposi-
tions were spurned.
Very few Hawaiians owned land when the islands were
ceded to the United States. Drink is their stronghold; it
is said they were given drink for the purpose of getting
them drunk in order to lend them money on their lands
which it was well known they could never return. The
mortgage given, while intoxicated, was foreclosed and the
property changed hands at the price of a few cents per
acre, when it was really valued at from one to two hundred
Just after annexation, when the inhabitants were be-
ing converted to Republicanism, one Hawaiian orator said:
"The missionary is he who came to your country and
told you to get down on your knees, shut your eyes, and
pray to his God; and while you were down with your eyes
shut he was stealing your land. Who is the Republican
party? Who owns these islands now? The missionaries
and their descendants. Will you vote for them? Now,
who is the Democratic party ? Mr. Clevelaand is the man
who put up your flag and gave you back your country after
it had been stolen from you by these missionary Repub-
licans. Mr. Cleveland is the Democratic party. He is the
man to vote for."
But the Hawaiian will not be here long to vote or hold
land. Tuberculosis, the specific diseases brought to the
islands by Captain Cook's sailors, for which Captain Cook
was afterward killed, together with miscegenation and
drink, will soon eliminate the last drop of his blood. He
is fast passing away.
While the Hawaiian is honest, he is a lazy laggard. And
why should he be otherwise? He does not have to work
to live. He needs but little clothing, and he eats, poi, raw
fish and fruits. He would exchange his last shirt for a
drink, but liquor does not make of him a fighting beast.
When he gets drunk he sings, dances and sleeps.
The percentage of illiteracy in Hawaii is very small.
Even the oldest inhabitant can read in his own language.
But the Hawaiian has no ambition. Many have been sent
to the United States and educated at Harvard and other
such institutions,, and when they returned to their old
haunts they have no higher ambition than to lasso bulls.
As a plantation physician I was a Government physi-
cian. It was my duty to treat the poor, make examination
of schools and send all leper suspects to Honolulu under
arrest. If they were there again adjudged leprous they were
sent to the Island of Molokai. It was a painful thing to
separate man and wife, or to tear a child from its parents
and home and banish it for life, but it had to be done in
the interests of humanity. Usually there was no resist-
ance, but occasionally a man adjudged a leper would fly to
the hills and have to be hunted down like an escaped crim-
inal. He would subsist upon wild fruits and roots and such
food as might be given him clandestinely. Sometimes they
would kill or be killed rather than be caught. A life in the
woods was preferable simply because of ignorance of the
desirable conditions at Molokai.
My first visit to Molokai, the leper island, was made
with the Board of Health which had entire control of the
island. The ship left Honolulu at an hour which insured
its arrival at Molokai at daylight in the morning. There
is no wharf at the landing, nor is there a derrick, such as
is found at some of the island landings where persons and
freight are hoisted in a box over a very high bluff and
swung around to where they are put on the ground. The
ship's landing is a rough and rugged one. The passengers
are taken ashore in the ship's lifeboats, which have to be
be manipulated with the greatest of care as they pass be-
tween large projecting rocks which menace the lives of
The Hawaiian is the most skillful oarsman and the best
swimmer in the world. Even boys swim out to ship as
they enter the harbor and dive for money thrown from
the decks. If the money strikes the water within twenty
feet of them they will go down like a fish and never miss it.
The first thing encountered at Molokai are two high
board fences about ten feet apart which extend across the
little peninsula upon which the visitors land. The visitors
reach one fence and the inhabitants reach the other and
they converse across the space between the fences. Gates
in the fences admit the entrance of the members of the
Board of Health and their special guests to the village of
Kalapapa. The village of Kalawo is situated three miles
away and just across the base of the cape upon which the
lepers are confined. From the security offered by the
natural formation of the cape it seems a place provided by
nature for the very purpose for which it is used. It is
bounded on the west, where it is attached to the main body
of the island, by a bluff two thousand feet high and is
passable only by birds. Being a triangular cape, on the
other two sides it is bounded by water. A police force pre-
vents the landing of boats, or the sailing of boats, so it
can be readily seen how next to impossible it is for one to
escape. One placed there as a leper is there for life,
because there is no certain cure. More recently it seems
there is hope of a permanent cure, but years will be re-
quired to prove it, because leprosy is a disease that appar-
ently cures itself sometimes and returns again after lying
dormant for a time.
Lepers are on Molokai in every phase of the disease. In
some it is scarcely noticeable, while others are so hideously
deformed they are scarcely recognizable as human beings.
Of the twelve hundred there on that day there was not one
who expressed discontent ; but few were in pain, and no one
anticipated an early death. The disease does not often
kill. It is a pity it does not, because they usually just rot
along and die of something else.
There are but two small villages on the leper cape. The
largest is called Kalapapa and the other Kalawao. Kala-
papa is built upon more stony ground than Kalawao, hence
has not the pretty shrubbery that the latter has, but it
has its attractions and is an institution of which to be
proud. The use of liquor is forbidden, but the strong pro-
pensity of the Hawaiians to drink is equal in the sick and
the well, so the leper will withhold rice, potatoes, etc., from
his food allowance and distill clandestinely, by crude
methods of his own, an alcoholic drink which promptly
There is a brass band at each of the leper villages which
furnishes real good music, under the circumstances. Of
course, not one of the musicians is physically perfect. The
right hand of one of the bass drummers had sloughed away
and the drumstick was lashed to the remaining part of the
arm. Some hold brass horns with one hand maimed and
work the keys with the other no less diseased. The Ha-
waiian is a natural musician and his music is usually very
pretty, but the words of his songs are often foul.
Many of the relatives of the lepers are allowed to visit
them on each of the monthly visits of the Board of Health.
When the ship is ready to sail it is a difficult matter to
force them away from the separation fences. The scene
is heart-rending. Both the sick and the well weep, moan
and gnash teeth in evidence of their grief. The expression
of feeling could not be more vehement were they actually
facing the end of the world. The wail of the Hawaiian is
a thing peculiar to them. Like the scream of an epileptic,
once heard it will never be forgotten. Yet, strange to say,
as soon as the ship is under way the moaners grow hila-
rious. They sing and dance and seem as happy as mortals
can be. Memory seems short. Like the cow that bellows
at the sight of fresh blood and forgets it as soon as the
scene is changed, they soon forget their grief.
The only precaution against contagion taken by the
visiting doctors is to wear gloves which are thrown into
the sea the moment they return to the ship. This is because
of the persistent handshaking of the Hawaiian, who takes
offense if he is not met half way in his expressions of
The United States Geodetic Survey boat the "Path-
finder" was lying in the harbor of Hilo, Hawaii. The offi-
cers and men, as far as could be spared from the boat at
one time, were visiting the Volcano House at the crater of
Kilauea. A number of the citizens of Hilo were there also,
and I was among the number.
Mr. Perry, the secretary of the Pathfinder, was one of
the guests. He was boasting of being a hero of several
wars and feared nothing, and was, as usual, deeply and
chronically "in his cups." He was mixing drinks, regard-
less of color or quality.
I made his acquaintance and introduced him to some of
my friends as a minister, having first asked those friends
to insist upon his holding services in the parlor of the
hotel on the following morning, which would be Sunday.
Perry declined the invitation, but was so drunk he neg-
lected to deny that he was a minister, so it was whispered
about that he was really one of the cloth but had fallen
I plead with the man to comply with the often repeated
request and after a time an idea seemed to penetrate his
whisky-soaked brain. He said he would preach if he could
secure some one to open and close the services. I readily
agreed to do that, and it was arranged we would meet at
9 o'clock of the following morning, Sunday, and walk down
in the timber to formulate a definite plan of action.
Perry claimed thorough competence to deliver a ser-
mon; one that would entertain the people in a truly spir-
itual way; one that would be long remembered by all who
were fortunate enough to hear it. All of this, of course,
I did not doubt, for Perry was then full of spirits and doubt-
less would be when the time came to preach, a thing I had
no intention of allowing him to do.
When the morning came Perry and I met as agreed
and we walked down into the woods to arrange our plans.
We followed a trail which I knew led to an open space which
was kept free from vegetation by a large sulphur blowhole
in the center of it.
Along this trail I excited the would-be preacher by
reciting blood-curdling tales of dastardly acts committed
by Porto Ricans and other renegades who were at large in
the country- I told of the danger of getting far from the
hotel, as many had been robbed quite near the house. In
fact, they were so bold persons had been killed and robbed
in the public streets in the daytime.
When we entered the open space mentioned above,
Perry's fear was fully aroused. I stopped suddenly and
spoke, which was a signal to my friends in the brush to
fire: "Listen, there's a movement in the brush," said I.
Imemdiately a bombardment began. Bullets sang over
our heads like a swarm of bees. At the first shot I fell,
and Perry disappeared.
"Come back ! Corner back ! I am killed !" I cried.
But Perry did not come back. Nor did he hesitate for
a moment. He disappeared as quickly as the shadow of
a flying bird could cross a telephone wire. He ran until
he fell full length upon the floor in the hotel office, and
he panted like a broken-winded horse. His eyes spread to
full capacity, and in mortal terror he related what had
"I distinctly saw four Porto Ricans. Each of them shot
at me six times. Dr. Hunter is dead. They killed him
instantly. Bullets came so near me they almost cut my
At that moment I (the dead doctor) and the four Porto
Ricans appeared upon the scene. We walked in as demure
as though nothing had happened, and I took a stand in the
midst of the crowd just opposite to Perry.
Each individual was listening to Perry's tale of woe
with bated breath and bounding heart. When Perry's eyes
caught mine he was struck dumb. I did not speak. It was
not necessary. I simply looked at Perry and laughed, and
the crowd laughed with me.
Instead of preaching, Perry and the entire crew of the
Pathfinder took the 11 o'clock stage for Hilo mid the hearty
jeers of the hotel guests.
When they reached the ship they raised anchor and
"HUNTING IN TREES"
Off an island in the Pacific Ocean, I and five other
persons, one a negro, were hunting deer by sitting in trees
at night. Each man was numbered and we were stationed
in a row. Number one took the first tree, number two the
second and so on to the end. It was well understood that
the last man, number six, would whoop when it was time
to return to camp. Number five would then whoop, then
number four, then number three, then number two and
number one. After the whooping no gun was to be fired
under any circumstances and the men would all come down
from the trees and meet at tree number one.
I was given tree number one and the negro was given
tree number two.
At about 9 o'clock p. m. the moon went down, but the
stars shone with sufficient brightness for the outline of
large objects to be seen if very near.
I heard something walking beneath my tree and I aimed
my gun in the direction of the noise, intending to shoot
as soon as the object came into view. To my great aston-
ishment I saw the object climbing up my tree. Very natu-
rally I thought it was the negro, who had disobeyed orders
through fright and was coming to me for company. So
I began to abuse him.
"Where are you going, nigger? What do you mean by
leaving your tree?"
There was no response, and I continued:
"Say, you black devil, what are you coming up this tree
Still there was no response. By this time he had
climbed the body of the tree and was on the limb upon
which I was sitting. He was between me and the trunk
of the tree. He moved a little closer and I remonstrated
"Get back there, nigger. Don't come out on this limb."
I turned my gun toward the nigger and threatened to punch
him off the limb. The gun was slapped out of my hands
and it fell to the ground. It was not until that moment
that I learned I was talking to a big black bear. The in-
stant I recognized my visitor I sprang toward the end of
the limb and by means of the small branches I reached the
ground. I seized my gun and the bear came down faster
than he had gone up. It was his last climb.
"A FISHING PARTY"
A small party consisting of ladies and gentlemen of the
Rio Grande Valley was organized for an outing. The party
selected one of the various lakes in the county as an objec-
tive point, having an eye to venison as well as to quail and
ducks upon which to feast.
Early in the afternoon the party reached the lake and
the men were divided into a ducker, a quailer, a fisher, a
deer hunter and camp keepers. Each man selected his best
girl for a companion and they started on their death-dealing
mission. Before leaving the camp they formed a jackpot
which would go to the first man returning to camp having
reached the limit of the game law.
In just two hours the quail hunter returned with thirty
quail and claimed the jackpot. In ample time the fisher
brought a string of fish which would have made the mouth
of a wooden man run water like a mountain spring in the
wet season of the year.
At sundown two blasts of a horn, which is the hunter's
call, were heard. Help was needed, for a six-prong buck,
so fat it resembled a stall-fed steer, had been killed.
When it was light enough to see the trails I, the duck
hunter, came to camp. I wore a disappointed, woebegone
countenance. ■ I had killed but two small ducks and my
lady had eight to her credit. The only explanation of the
situation was that when the ducks saw the angelic crea-
ture who was waiting for them, they became anamoured
and, like men, fell at her feet.
The camp keepers had cleared a large square of ground
near the water, separated from the water by a thicket of
tall, thorny blackberry bushes.
After a late supper of assorted meats and all the good
things that go on such an occasion, everybody retired. Be-
fore I retired I had requested my lady friend to inform the
other ladies that I would play a joke in the night, and they
must not be frightened at anything they heard. I went to
bed, but I did not sleep. I remained awake until everyone
else was asleep. Then I crept silently from the tent and
straddled the tongue of a wagon, which I had taken to the
side of the men's tent in the afternoon and tethered four
horses to the wheels. I shook the tongue vigorously, which
rattled the chains loudly, and I tramped the ground and
yell at the top of my voice, "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" and
I fell over against the tent, which shook it from center to
circumference. In less than a half minute each man was
out of the tent and was running as though wild Indians
were after him. One man took up in the briar patch, which
saved him from a bath with his clothes on, and another
went squarely up against the trunk of a tree and laid upon
the ground in an unconscious state for quite awhile before
he could speak.
Hearty laughter by the ladies brought the brave boys
back from their hiding places in the swamp. There was
no more sleeping that night and the crowd swore vengeance
"A STORM AT SEA. ON THE YAQUI RIVER"
Accepting a position as mine physician in Mexico, I left
Hawaii, going by way of Victoria, British Columbia.
The first three days at sea were pleasant enough, but
on the fifth day the wind began to blow. It increased in
velocity until by the next morning the ship was running in
a full gale. Every passenger remained in bed. There were
no such things as walking around or eating. The storm
increased in violence and the waves rolled higher and higher
as the hours passed by. About half of the time the pro-
peller was out of the water, and it fanned the air as the
ship quivered upon the crest of waves, which seemed high
enough to reach the very dome of heaven. The ship's sails
were all furled. Her hatches, windows and doors were all
closed. The engine was slowed down to a point which barely
enabled the pilot to steer her. Nothing could be kept in
place, unless fastened. Crockery flitted about like fright-
ened birds in a cage. Valises, shoes, parcels of every kind
and clothes slipped and slid about in the staterooms from
side to side as the ship climbed upon the mighty billows or
glided down into the depths of turbulent watery vales.
The night was as dark as death. There was no sign of
light save when a vivid electric flash brought to view a sea
of racing liquid mountains. Each wave had a thousand
peaks ; each peak was capped with a frothy hood, and all
seemed frenzied. They seemed madly running in every
direction, and they rudely climbed upon each other and
burst with a deafening roar. The ship climbed tremblingly
up the sides of lofty waves and slid with lightning speed
to the bottom of the troughs below. She cut her way
through the boiling sea and was at times lost to view.
Sometimes her loftiest masthead was below the foaming
peaks. The rigging sang uncertain songs and the masts
careened and creaked, while the ship's deck was washed by
maddened waves. Mighty billows beat against her sides
with loud report and drove terror to the hearts of those
within. Every timber of the ship cracked and creaked and
told of the awful war of wind and wave that waged with-
out. Strong men were torn from their hold and hurled
against the bulwark like flies before an electric fan. Bil-
lows rolled over the ship from stem to stern. They washed
over the pilot house and bridge, submerged the officers on
watch and rolled by the cabin doors with an appalling crash.
Water found its way into the saloon and staterooms, and
the sinking of the ship seemed but a moment postponed.
But it was not to be so.
At the end of the third day the storm abated, but long
after that hour the waves rolled to a sickening height and
forced many to remain in bed. But the gale was over, and
every heart was gladdened when the ship ran into the
placid water of Juan de Fuca Sound, where the city of Vic-
toria was in sight.
From Victoria I took a boat to Seattle and a train to
Texas. Upon reaching El Paso I met Dr. Johnston and a
few moments conversation revealed the fact that we had
graduated at the same medical school. The result was
the acceptance of an invitation to accompany Dr. Johnston
to his mine on the Yaqui River in Sonora, Mexico.
On the following day we left for Nogales. There we
purchased knives, firearms and ammunition suited to a
journey through one of the most dangerous sections of
country in the world at that time. It was infested with
murderous Yaqui Indians who were killing Mexicans and
At Hermosillo it was necessary to abandon the trains
and take to the trails. We were warned against the under-
taking and urged not to go except under military escort
which would be furnished by the Government free of
charge, but we declined the company of tin soldiers and
went to the mine alone. We went from village to village
in the day, going across country in which murder was of
almost daily occurrence.
The farms had all been deserted by their Mexican owners
who had not been murdered by the Yaquis. The Mexicans
held the towns and the Indians the country, but the Indians
had the advantage, in a way. Some of them were yet
friendly and lived in the towns. Their brothers of the
warpath would visit them undetected and keep posted on
all movements. They would learn of expeditions and plan
to rob them. They always knew just when and where to
strike and were always successful.
The Yaquis, it was said, were living peacefully in the
Valley of the river of the same name. The soil is as fertile
as that of the Nile, and they were industrious farmers,
far more so than the Mexicans, and they really produced
the breadstuff of the country. Those fertile lands had
attractions for the white man, and it is said the Mexican
Government, seeing millions in them, forcibly exchanged
inferior lands for the valley land and sold the rich valley
land to the white man. The red man thought himself out-
raged. He put on war paint, took up his rifle and went to
the woods. He preferred the rifle to the pick or the plow
on any other than the fertile lands of his father.
On the second day of our memorable venture we passed
a farm where a whole family, consisting of nine, had just
been murdered. The bodies were still warm, but the mur-
derers had gone. The only trace of them was their sandal
tracks, which showed the direction they had gone. It was
believed they had taken with them a Mexican girl who had
worked for the dead family, as her body was not with the
Some few weeks previous to the multi-murder Sr. San-
ches, the head of the dead family, had poisoned with strych-
nine a lot of mescal, a Mexican drink, and placed it care-
fully away in a locked trunk. At the same time he had in
his dining room a quantity of the same stimulant which
was in a pure state. A few days later the Sanches family
was visiting in a neighboring town and the Yaquis robbed
his home. They were suspicious and would not drink of
the mescal in the dining room, but partook freely of that
found in the locked trunk. Sixteen of them died in the
Santiago Sanches well knew this act meant death to
him if he remained in the country, and he was leaving when
he was killed along with his entire family.
A few hours after the murder Johnston and I reached
the town of "Take-Ripa," and the presidente of the munici-
pality ordered in immediate pursuit a few rurales who were
stationed there, himself leading the expedition, accompa-
nied by Johnston and me.
Before night we were in gunshot of the foe. The In-
dians were overtaken while ascending the side of a deep
ravine, which gave the pursuing party a great advantage.
It goes without saying the Indians knew they were being
pursued and it was evident they had miscalculated the
speed of the rurales. They had no doubt expected to cross
the ravine and attack the rurales while down in it. But
the conditions were somewhat reversed. They were ascend-
ing the steep side when seen. Every rurale's gun sang out
a note of death as it sent a bullet in search of a YaquiV
heart. The Yaquis returned the fire and were instantly
lost to view. They were gone, effectually gone, but no one
knew where. Their disappearance was magical. Two
Yaquis were killed, and one whose leg was broken by a
bullet was caught and hung. All manner of brutal punish-
ment was inflicted upon him to force a divulgence of infor-
mation concerning the rest of his band, but he died true to
his comrades, as mute as a mole.
While torturing the captured Yaqui a voice was heard
in the rocks. It proved to be the girl who lived with the
Sanches family. She had taken advantage of the situation
and was falling into the hands of her kind. She gave evi-
dence of much brutal treatment, and Johnston and I re-
lieved her suffering of which she bitterly complained.
The true hand of President Diaz was never shown in
the Yaqui war. His method was extermination of all that
did not do his will. As proof of this, see the tragic dis-
appearance of the inhabitants of the town of Temosechic.
It is said a resident of the town claimed to be Christ and
his following was so augmented he interfered with the do-
ings of the Catholic priests. A squad of soldiers was sent
to suppress the Christ, but they did not do it. They were
soundly drubbed and their arms taken away. So enraged
was Diaz that he sent a whole regiment to the town with
instructions to kill every man, woman and child in the
place who could speak. The orders were executed and more
than an hundred babes were cared for by the mothers of
Instead of that kind of treatment, all captured Yaquis
were sent to Yucatan and disposed of. Sold into slavery,
did you ask? Well, it was much the same.
During the stay in the Yaqui country I had occasion
to return to Hermosillo and I went along with a ten-mule
stage, which was occupied by four Americaans who had
taken advantage of the protecting arm of the Government,
being escorted by sixteen soldiers. I should say convicts,
because the regular army was composed of long-term con-
victs. They had no incentive to fight, and never did when
it could be avoided. And why should they risk their lives
for a pot of beans and a few tortillas ? That is all they got.
The sixteen were of the usual type. They wore the regula-
tion dirty linen suit and sandals, and resembled things that
fall from comic almanacs or such as the cats bring in. They
were mounted upon hungry horses of the rosenante type
and eight of them rode in front and eight behind the stage.
They traveled at a tantalizingly slow gait and no power
could induce them to quicken their pace, except a Yaqui
The first night had to be spent in an abandoned ranch
hut on account of rain. Had the Yaquis attacked us the
Americans would have had to protect the soldiers, for they
took possession of the little hut and carpeted the hut with
their bodies, leaving the Americans to occupy the porch,
which, fortunately, was under roof. The floor of the room
was lower than that of the porch and by midnight the rain
water ran in and covered the floor, wetting every soldier
and forcing him out upon the porch, where they spent the
rest of the night trying to dry themselves while the Ameri-
cans remained upon dry pallets and laughed.
On the next day an American named Brittan joined the
party at a small town and rode with me, I was on horse-
back and constantly far in advance of the stage, Brittan
became uneasy and complained:
"Let's wait for the stage," said he. "These woods are
full of Indians and we are liable to be shot at any time.
This is a dangerous place. You know how we have been
warned against it. This is a famous Indian trail and we
are both liable to be killed without warning. Let's go back
to the stage."
"You are right, my friend, and such is the case in many
parts of this country, but I will go along just the same.
I usually go alone and I never start anywhere without
thinking it may be my last time."
"It is tempting Providence to proceed in this heedless
way after the warnings we have had," said Brittan. "Let's
go back to the stage."
"You see, Mr. Brittan, I am out for sport, and if I ride
near that old squeaky stage I will never get a shot at a
wolf or a deer. If you wish to do so you may return to the
stage and I will take no offense, or you may ride some dis-
tance behind me and if I am shot, you will perhaps be
able to make your escape. I am going to remain in front
no matter what happens."
Brittan thought me a little foolhardy, so he went back
to the stage, took a position between it and the rear guard
and there he remained.
Shortly after Brittan left me it began to rain, and every
track in the road was obliterated. In a few moments it
ceased raining and I noticed fresh footprints in the road.
They were sandal tracks, hence were those of Yaquis, as
no one wore sandals in that section of country except
Yaquis. I reached a fork in the road, being on one prong
of it. I noticed that the Yaqui tracks turned down the
other prong of the fork, and were perfectly fresh. I be-
lieved the Indians had heard or had seen me coming and
had gone into the brush to hide. I stopped my horse in
the middle of the road and waited for the stage. I did not
draw my rifle from the scabbard, fearing the Indians would
construe it as a bellicose act and fire upon me. Besides,
from the freshness of the tracks I knew intuitively, as I
often did, that the Indians were quite near me.
When the stage arrived two of the soldiers dismounted
and followed the tracks along with me. It was seen that
the Indians had entered the brush between the two roads.
At that moment the cry of wolves was heard in the brush.
They could not have been a hundred feet away, but the
underbrush was so dense they could not be seen. The cry
was so evidently not that of wolves that I exclaimed:
"Those are not wolves. What are they?"
"They are Yaquis ! They are Yaquis ! Let us go ! Let
us go!" said Mr. Soldier, and suiting the action to the admo-
nition, he mounted as quickly as possible and was soon out
of sight, he and his whole gang.
It was evident the Yaquis knew how to get rid of the
soldiers. Their imperfect imitation of wolves was imper-
fect for the express purspose of being understood.
What a beautiful target I was, if the Yaquis had wished
to use me as such. I had sat upon my horse in the middle
of the road for ten minutes without even a bush to screen
me. It seemed they were killing everybody else they could.
Why did they not kill me ? Just because there is an allotted
time for each man to die, and mine had not come.
"INTIMACY WITH A RAM"
While residing in the town of Ameca, in Mexico, it
became necessary for me to purchase a horse, and I fre-
quently went in quest of one.
On one occasion I was led by a Mexican through his
house, a back yard and two dirty, darkly enclosed corrals.
Then I was taken through another corral where animals
were fed, sometimes. A small horse was led from a dark
stall into the corridor where the feed trough was. It was
a pathetic bag of bones, just such as are killed in bullrings
because of their utter worthlessness. It resembled a horse-
hide hung on a picket fence. It held up its skinny head,
looked anxiously at me and whinnied. The tone was expres-
sive of extreme hunger and I was a little afraid, but no
man need fear being eaten for something green when there
is a peon around.
84 I: v
Very naturally the creature was rejected at the first
glance, but to avoid possible offense I proceeded to examine
the beast. It was very small and to examine its upper teeth
I had to stoop very low. Just as I bent myself down I expe-
rienced a terrible blow upon the seat of my pants. It came
with sufficient force to drive me hard up against the feed
trough, and a million stars danced before my eyes.
I had a contempt for one who would attempt to brain
me through my pants, but the situation was urgent. I had
to act, and act quickly. I had either to try to run, call for
help or try to bluff. The moment was harrowing. I be-
lieved I had been led into that dark corner to be robbed
Being unarmed and weak from a recent illness, I was
helpless. The only strong thing about me was my voice,
so I hurled a few Sunday anathemas in the air and turned
upon my adversary. I fully expected to be shot or stabbed
as I turned, so I whirled around with all the force and vigor
I could summon and I met with a great surprise. I con-
fronted an immense white ram poised upon his hind legs
for another blow.
St. Paul said; "I have learned in whatsoever lot I find
myself therewith to be content," but he did not mean a
horse lot, nor a sheep lot. I was always Paul-like, so I did
not even resent the laughter of the villain who was enjoy-
ing the discomfort he could so easily have prevented.
The town of Ameca, Mexico, in which I resided a long
time, is not unlike other Mexican towns. The Catholic
Church reminds one of an elephant in a herd of goats. It
looms up like a mountain among molehills. It can be seen
long before any other house comes into view, and it keeps
the people mindful of duty by the most unearthly — in other
words, hellish — clanging of bells of many tones at all hours
of the day and of the night.
Many a stranger on his first visit to Mexico is startled
by the bells in the day and springs from bed at night, think-
ing the whole town is on fire. The use of explosive rockets
is said to be reserved to the church, and the almost daily
pyrotechnic display enforces remembrance upon the simple-
minded who are in duty bound to heed their call.
It is this constant ringing of bells and bursting of
rockets that remind the people of crawling into the
churches upon their knees, and of daubing holy water in
their faces in the form of a cross.
Mexican Catholics do not respect the Sabbath. It is the
great "Fiesta" day, the day of great public gatherings and
of elections. It is the day upon which the rurals comes to
town. They find the stores and the barrooms all wide open
and the gambling hells in full blast. It is the day of all
others for bull fighting, chicken fighting and of general
amusement and iniquity. The grinding of these mills of
the devil is sanctioned by the church and those highest in
authority, all of whom are interested in the proceeds.
The "Fiesta" days are those upon which most of the
religious horse-play exhibitions are given. On the great
Sunday, "Fiesta of the Crucifixion," I visited the cathedral.
It is a large and elegant building which cost many thou-
sands of dollars in gold. It was brilliantly illuminated and
glistened everywhere with the gorgeous gilding which em-
bossed the interior. A little to one side of the altar an
orchestra dispelled music which was soft, doleful and im-
pressive. The cathedral was filled with men, women and
children of all ages. The men and women were there be-
cause they were there in childhood, and the children will
be there when they are men and women for the same rea-
son. Many of them appeared moderately intelligent, but
most of them wore the stamp of ignorance and simplicity.
No one was seated in the church, because as a rule there
are no seats in the churches in that country. Some were
erect and some were upon their knees, and all pushed for-
ward, gently and without jostle, to reach the altar.
I elbowed my way to the front and I saw, prone upon
the floor in a bed of straw, a ful-sized image of Christ. It,
at least, seemed a misfit. Imagine a full-grown Christ in
a bed of straw in a manger.
No one reached the image except on their knees, and
each kissed the feet and retired in peace. It seemed the
highest type of idolatrous mockery.
Mexicans say they believe these images make and place
themselves in the churches and that they are capable of
manifesting approval or disapproval by movements of an
arm or head. They also believe if an effort was made
to remove one of them from a church, without the consent
of the priest, it would immediately assume such weight
a thousand men could not move it.
A story is told in Mexico, and believed by many, that
some irreverent wretch attempted to take one into the
street and immediately as he reached out his hands to take
hold of the image he became paralyzed. It was only the
goodness of the priest which averted sudden death. It is
difficult to believe that such stupidity, superstion, idolatry
and treachery can exist, to such an alarming extent, in a
country so near the door of civilization.
After I had witnessed the kissing of the image and the
dipping of fingers, often for years unwashed, into the holy
water, I concluded the church was largely to blame for the
sad physical as well as mental condition of the people. Not
less than 80 per cent of my clientele in Mexico was trace-
able to "blood taint," and it was more than probable the
kissing of images in the same spot by thousands with
tainted mouths, and the promiscuous dipping of tainted
fingers into the same water, were fruitful sources of con-
The church bleeds its people in many ways. There is
seldom a day upon which mass is not held, nor a day when
collection is not taken up. On every hand, everywhere,
even on the country highways, one encounters fixtures for
receiving contributions to the church.
One of the most unbelievable, yet unquestionable, meth-
ods is the manner in which the church keeps tab on the
people, more especially upon those who may have become
disgruntled and refused to pay their quota. For example:
Every year every man is charged on the church books with
the amount he should pay, which amount is figured from
his estimated income. Year after year the charging goes
on until the man becomes very ill or dies. In the first
instance he is frightened by the priests, through the women
of the family, until he yields, agrees to pay up all back
dues in order to get forgiveness of his sins and avoid ever-
lasting torment in case he should die. If he refuses and
dies, then the priests "prey" upon the women. The widow,
rather than allow her husband to burn in hell forever, is
led, by the admonitions and pleadings of the priest, to pay
UP all back dues. Often when the bill is paid the widow
and orphan children of men of means are left without home
or food. So, living or dead, the money comes just the same,
or the man swelters in hell for all time to come. They will
not forgive the sins without the money.
It is said that the priests never require the pay for
holy unction, but I know to the contrary. I was called to
a man whom I found dying of pneumonia. I told the family
I could do nothing and that it was time to send for the
priest, if they wanted him. They sent, but the priest did
not come, and they told me the priest refused to see the
man unless two dollars were paid in advance. These
padres, these apostolic successors, refuse to forgive the
sins of a man unless the price is paid.
I was requested by an American friend who was going
to marry a Mexican girl, to ask the priest the price of the
ceremony. The priest said it was seventy-five dollars.
The friend requested me to say to the priest that he posi-
tively refused to pay the price, but that he would pay fifty
dollars. The priest agreed to the proposition, but said the
couple would not be allowed to walk from the door of the
church to the altar on a carpet. The carpet was removed
from the aisle and he kept his word. This is, in part, the
explanation of the fact that the majority of the people of
the West Coast States of Mexico are really living in adul-
tery. They cannot pay the price. As evidence of the truth
of this statement I here give an excerpt from "Mephisto-
peles," a morning paper published in Culiacan, the capital
of the State of Sinaloa: "Born, 91; male, 53; female, 38.
Legitimate, 17; illegitimate, 74."
In every town and hamlet there exists what is known
as the "Semanrio." It is a weekly donation of corn and
beans to the priest by the poor of the ranches. These poor
devils are required to bring to the priest a small quantity
of the products mentioned every week. These products are
collected, sacked and sold, instead of being divided among
those who hunger right under the eyes of those who profit
by their sale, and who claim to be imbued with the spirit
of Christ and the power of God.
The church bleeds its poor even through the resting
place of the dead. They bury in cemeteries, and the ceme-
teries belong to the church. A burial lot, just space enough
to inter a corpse, is leased to a family and an annual rent
must be paid. When from poverty, or otherwise, there is
a failure to pay, the same ground is leased to another and
the fresh corpse is placed in the same ground, the other
bones being dug up and thrown aside. As often as there
is failure to pay the lot is released, and this accounts for
the great heap of bleaching bones and gaping skulls found
in the corners of Catholic cemeteries in Mexico.
Corner in Catholic Cemetery in Mexico
When a bishop appears upon the streets, always in a
carriage, every person in sight falls to the knees and re-
mains down until the man-God passes out of sight. By
this act everyone believes he or she receives a special bene-
diction from the high and mighty man whether he sees
them or not. It is a disgusting scene, smacking of mock-
ery, blasphemy and ignorance, especially to one who pos-
sessed the knowledge of the priesthood that I did.
Far be it from me to traduce the dead, but truth de-
mands the assertion that it was only because Father
Damian, who died at the leper settlement on the Island of
Molokai, was a priest that he was made a martyr of to the
world. It is not often that a husband contracts leprosy
from a wife, but it is a well-known fact that his pretty
Hawaiian housegirl, whom it was also well known he did
not despise, was a subject of leprosy. Other persons have
given their lives to the same cause and have never been
heard of by the world. Of course, goodness of heart often
prompts these martyrs, but the assurance of a life free
from the usual anxieties of existence has its influence.
That priest had everything he desired. He had comfort-
able home necessities, plenty to wear, and he lived on the
fat of the land. The scope of his work was limited, but he
lived like a little King. Who would not rather be a King
among dogs than a dog among Kings?
In the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, a priest was impris-
oned by a naturalized Frenchman who had become a "Jefe
Politico" for shooting at a man for attempting to enter the
room of his mistress. The official was dismissed from
office by the Governor of the State.
In the State of Durango, Mexico, a priest has three
children. At least the mother says they are his, and she
ought to know. No one denies it.
Another priest in the same State, whom I knew well,
lived with a woman; that is, he ate at the same table and
slept in the same room with her. Such things, at least,
A priest is said to have caused the fall of ten young
girls in San Sebastian, a town in the State of Jalisco. Not
wishing to accept rumor as fact, I inquired of many of
the leading citizens, including the "Alcalde," and they all
replied in the affirmative.
"Yes," said the Alcalde, "I personally know some of the
girls whom he ruined." Strange to say, that Alcalde
allowed his wife and daughter to go several times a week
and sit under the sound of that man's voice. I knew this
priest also, and I attended one of the girls whom he seduced
at the coming of an heir of the unholy deceiver.
Perhaps the reader will say these are but isolated in-
stances. One swallow does not make a summer, etc., etc.
If these were all, the reader would be right ; but of a truth,
these are but a few of the many instances which are gen-
erally known and winked at by the public. You see, a
priest cannot err in the eyes of his benighted following,
yet many of them are debauched libertines under the cover
That the average priest in Mexico is insincere is be-
lived by many of the more enlightened classes. His influ-
ence is largely attributable to the ignorance of his follow-
ing. This is one of the reasons why they oppose immigra-
tion. They realize that every educated foreigner, not a
Catholic, who settles in the country is a nail in the coffin
of Roman Catholicism, and they dislike to hear the ham-
The masses in Mexico cannot read or write. There are
no newspapers published outside of the capital of each
State; not even in towns of ten to twenty thousand inhab-
itants. Those who can read are forbidden to read the
Bible. A Bible in the home of a Mexican is as rare as a
hairy bird. I traveled over seven States on horseback and
I never saw a Bible, Catholic or otherwise, except the one
I had in my grip. Catholics, the ignorant of Mexico, are
not allowed to think for themselves. The priests carry the
Catholic priests are human beings endowed with the
passions of other men, and man is a natural polygamist.
So, when a natural man, a natural polygamist, claims to
ignore the opposite sex as the priests do, they may deceive
some old maids who do not appeal to them, but not men.
Is it not better to be a benedict than a pervert?
"A MOZO. A CASE IN COURT."
Traveling anywhere in Mexico, away from the rail-
roads, one must take bedding or do without. Traveling
with a bed necessitates a pack mule and a pack mule neces-
sitates a mozo.
A mozo (a male Mexican servant) is a thing constructed
after the fashion of man, but is as far removed from him
as is possible for a thing of his shape to be. The average
one is worthless when sober, but when drunk, which is
every time he can get enough to drink, he is not worthy
to be classed with cattle. He is a combination of knave
and knife, of big hat and little brain. He is fond of doing
nothing, and he does a lot of it. His country has eighty-
three holidays a year upon which he will not work, and he
shirks on every other day possible. He wears a white
shirt, a pair of loose white drawers for pants, a big hat
and sandals, but never a coat.
A single blanket takes the place of a coat and a bed,
regardless of season, and he is never without one. In his
blanket he conceals his knife and pilfered things. Cold
or hot, wet or dry, he coils up under his blanket upon the
ground anywhere and sleeps the guileful sleep of a wolf.
His sole end and aim of life seems to be to get something
for nothing, and he usually gets things that way. He hates
a foreigner whom he fails to skin, and he has a contempt
for one he can skin. He never tells the truth except by
accident, and he is absolutely unreliable in every way, ex-
cept when there is hope of gain. Good or bad, he demands
the same daily compensation. If he furnishes himself with
food a few beans and tortillas will suffice, but if you sup-
ply him food disappears like corn in a mill hopper, and he
fattens like a goo tacked to the floor.
Foreigners say the Mexican is just a grown-up child
and should be treated as such. He is, indeed, childlike and
bland, but in chicanery he is a past master. He feigns
ignorance to deceive you. He is more shrewd than a com-
bination of fox and wolf. He recognizes the importance
of doing the other fellows and he attends strictly to that
phase of business. He never has a thought of a mutually
beneficial transaction, hence he never commits an act un-
less he is convinced he is doing the other fellows. He is
most polite to his bitterest enemy.
The fact that there is no Jews in Mexico speaks louder
than words. A Jew would starve to death at the elbow of
a Mexican. He can beat the Jew at his own game.
In the courts there is no jury trial outside of the large
cities, and there is no oath administered to the witnesses.
Evidence is taken by some petty official anywhere the
witness happens to be. My evidence has been taken in
my own house and I witnessed the taking of evidence in
the street a day or two before the prisoner was tried.
Witnesses are asked to tell what they know about the
case, and they know enough to tell just what they think
the trial judge would want them to say. Leading and sug-
gestive questioning soon show him where to head in. A
prisoner does not always know what charge has been
brought against him until the trial is over, much less does
he know what the witnesses have said.
When a man has a grievance he has the other fellow
arrested. Guilty or not guilty, the prisoner goes to jail
without investigation, and is given opportunity to prove his
It is a difficult thing to convict anyone of anything in
Mexico, for there must be two uncontroverted witnesses to
every act. It is not obligatory on the part of the prosecu-
tion to prove guilt. One must prove innocence or suffer.
No woman can be used in the court trial. She is not
admitted as a witness for or against anyone. Her word
has not the value of a broken reed in her own country ; nor
can any employe of the accused, nor any relative by blood
or marriage, nor any particular friend, testify in behalf of
the accused in any manner of a court trial. This is the
written law of the country, but no official observes the
law if it suits his purpose to do otherwise.
I once made a test as to whether I could collect my bills
by law or not by suing a man for thirty dollars. I won the
case; at least that was the generally expressed opinion of
all present, but the judge refused to decide it, stating he
would send the case to a higher court for decision because
both parties to the suit were friends of his. I insisted
upon a decision, in accordance with the law and the evi-
dence, but the judge said: "I will not decide it; that man
belongs to my church." The judge was the organist in
the Catholic Church at Ayutla, State of Jalisco, Mexico.
The case was sent up and was never heard of again.
A man was arrested for that grave charge for which
men are lynched in some countries. He was kept in jail
five days while his "trial" was going on. He named the
girls father as his witness. He did not know who else was
giving testimony in the case, nor did he know what any
witness had said. Later the judge told me the man had
been liberated because there was no evidence against him
and his innocence had been established. Then came an
astounding declaration: "We fined him five dollars and
let him go," said the judge.
"What ?" said I, "no evidence against him after a week
in jail and you fined him five dollars and let him go ! How
on earth could you do such a thing?"
"Well, you see, doctor," said Judge Tubercio Bacero of
Lluvia de Oro mine in the State of Sinaloa, Mexico, "it cost
us something to arrest him and the other fellow had no
If a man kidnaps and rapes a woman he will say he
had her consent, and that ends it, as her word will not be
considered in a court. If she is under fourteen years of
age, the age of consent, the man will deniy it, and as there
must be two witnesses to every act in order to have a con-
viction, he goes free. These assertions are not guesswork —
I have seen them exemplified.
"AN HAWAIIAN RAIN GOD"
On the Island of Hawaii there is a sugar plantation on
which there is a famous gulch which is usually dry. In
the center of this gulch, about three miles up from the
main road which encircles the island, there is a large rock
about four feet high which the Hawaiians call "The Rain
God." It is a peculiarly formed stone and requires no vivid
imagination to see its resemblance to a large man stooping
down with a blanket drawn over him.
This particular gulch is situated between the wet and
the dry sections of the island and sometimes rain is needed
there. When such is the case the Hawaiians go to the
god, worship it and pray for rain. There is never any
great length of time between rains, so the native believes
he brings it by his prayers.
Many persons visit the god regularly and deposit money
upon it, which is taken away, of course, by the unbelievers.
Sometimes it is richly decorated with beautiful wreaths,
and it is never without flowers of some kind upon it.
On one occasion I and Mr. Searls who lived on a plan-
tation about half way between the god and the sea, went
up the gulch to examine the god. We found a number of
Hawaiians there upon their knees praying to the god for
rain. They had made beautiful floral offerings and the
god was enveloped in flowers of all colors of the rainbow.
To disabuse their minds of the faith they had in the
rain god we demolished the flowers, tore up the wreaths
and threw them on the ground. Then we chastised the
stone with our riding whips and invited it to revenge.
The Hawaiians immediately began to pray for us. They
begged the god to do us no harm because we knew not the
gravity of our offense. The main spokesman of the Ha-
waiians assured Searls and me that we were in great dan-
ger, and said he would not be surprised if heavy rain fell
upon us before we could reach the Searls home.
Then followed a most singular occurrence. Heavy black
clouds gathered above the god, and by the time we reached
home and stabled our horses the rain came down in fear-
ful torrents. The whole world seemed darkened and the
heavens seemed to pour out an accumulation of years. A
breast of water came down the gulch several feet high and
carried nearly everything in its path. It washed away
fences and brought down stones of various sizes from a
pebble to hundreds of pounds. The flower garden and the
fruit trees were destroyed, the yard was left dry and cov-
ered with rocks, and resembled a rough and rugged moun-
tainside. It was a mystery the house was not tumbled to
It was afterward still more impossible to shake the
Hawaiian's faith in his Rain God.
"MEDICINE IN THE MEXICAN SIERRAS"
While practicing medicine in the Sierra Madre Moun-
tains of Mexico I was called to a patient who lived at a
small town called Urique. Urique was just two days away.
Distances are estimated by the time it requires one to
reach any certain point in a walk. For instance, the town
of Parral was four hours away, and Chico Ranch was only
two hours away.
I left the mine at which I was employed, after an early
breakfast, accompanied by a mozo and a pack mule which
took food, bedding and other things necessary for the trip.
Every point of the compass was made and I traveled along
the zigzag trail which wound in and out of coves, up and
down mountainsides, over rocks, under rocks and across
stony gulches. I had but the two animals. Most mozos
travel on foot and will trot along behind you all day, appar-
ently without fatigue.
Late in the afternoon of the first day I dismounted to
tighten my saddle girth, and the pack mule strolled to one
side to eat grass. The mozo, in attempting to get her back
upon the trail, started her off toward the mine. He tried
to catch her, but she was not to be caught by such an
empty-headed animal as the idiot who trotted directly be-
hind her. It never occurred to him if he would stop
the animal would stop also. It was easy to cut across some
bend of the crooked trail and get in front of her, but he
simply trotted leisurely behind her and was soon out of
It had been cloudy all of the afternoon and it began to
rain. It was the wet season of the year when it rains
every day, and at such time the trails are very dangerous.
The gulches fill quickly with water and it flows down in
perfect torrents. At such times neither man nor beast
can cross them. However, one has to wait but a short time,
for in a few minutes the water is gone. It pours down
stream as from a houstop, and each gulch successively
empties into a larger gulch below, until on reaching the
river the water is emptied into the sea.
On account of the rainstorm the night seemed to come
on suddenly and was very dark. I did not try to reach
a small village which was not far ahead on account of a
large gulch which intervened and must be dangerously
filled with water. Besides this, the trails were numerous
and unknown to me. I remembered having seen an Indian
hut but a little way back, so I groped my way to it through
the darkness, leading my mule and many times feeling for
the trail with my hands. The hut was reached with diffi-
culty, the blackest darkness prevailed within and without.
The door was open, which I could see by an occasional flash
in the heavens, but how dared I enter? Who knew there
were no Indians within? What assurance had I that no
outlaws, lions, tigers or deadly reptiles had taken refuge
there ? I wanted to get out of the rain and I wanted some-
thing dry with which to kindle a fire, and to secure these
much-needed commodities I must take a chance.
I stepped into the door of the hut with pistol in hand
ready to shoot at anything which offered resistance, and
I struck a match as I entered the threshold. The hut
proved to be empty and I tried to lead the mule into it, but
she would not enter. I pulled vigorously upon the reins,
but she would not budge a foot. I struck another match
and saw that my pants legs were black and I beat a hasty
retreat. I had entered a flea hatchery, so common in
Guided by vivid flashes of lightning, I found a few long
planks leaning against a pole pen, and I took refuge be-
neath them. Sheltered by the planks, all alone with my
conscience and my thoughts, I spent a miserable, wretched
night. I had nothing to eat and nothing to drink except
the rain water which coursed down the planks and was
caught in my hands. I had no bed, not even a blanket,
and I was wet and cold. Though terribly against my will,
I had simply to stand erect and watch and wait through the
livelong night. Truly the hours of a dark and stormy night
grow long and monotonous to one situated as I was. Alone
in a foreign country, in rough and rugged mountains, sur-
rounded by bad Indians, by native cut-throats, ferocious
wild beasts, venomous reptiles and poisonous insects, and
not an English-speaking person within fifty miles. Surely
the time dragged heavily. Each moment seemed an hour
and the night seemed the length of a whole lifetime.
When the morning came there was no sign of the mozo,
and the saddle mule also was gone. She had slipped the
bridle, for it was hanging on the tree to which she had
been tied. A long search revealed her at the bottom of
a deep canyon, and when I approached her she refused my
fellowship. With much difficulty I enforced submission
with a lasso which had been attached to the bridle.
I mounted the mule bareback and started for the hut
where the saddle was left. While ascending the side of
a gulch the mule lost footing and fell into a deep hole from
which she could not extricate herself. I almost wrecked
my brain in the endeavor to devise means of the mule's
deliverance. If left in the hole she would starve to death,
or be drowned in the next rain, though the water was now
not deep enough to submerge her. There was never a time
when I needed a mule more. Thinking if there was no
hole for the mule to stand in she would be able to walk
away, I fell to the task of filling the hole with rocks. As
the hole was filled the mule rose higher and higher until
she met her preserver on the level.
When the hut was reached and the saddle adjusted the
journey was resumed. When the little village across the
gulch was reached a hearty meal of tortillas (thin corn
hoecakes) and huevos (eggs) was enjoyed.
Learning nothing of the lost mozo, another was em-
ployed and the journey renewed. In a short time Urique
was in sight. Being in sight does not always mean near
by, and many hours were required to reach the town.
Urique is on a river of the same name and looks, in the
distance, like a lot of large boulders bunched along a snake's
trail. On descending the mountain one frequently passes
over points in the trail so steep the mule seems almost to
stand on her head, and at other times it is almost impos-
sible to keep the animal from falling over backward. The
trail is blasted out of the side of the mountain and is so
narrow that at times one foot of a man in the saddle scrapes
along the side of the rocky heights on one side, while the
other dangles over a precipice so high that one misstep of
the mule would hurl man and beast to the bottom of the
gulch a thousand feet below.
When I reached Urique I had as yet heard nothing of
my first mozo, or the mule. Fortunately I had in my pocket
sufficient medicine for the immediate demands of the pa-
tient, and the rest was sent later.
On the following morning, while on my return trip, I
encountered the lost mozo and mule. The mozo had caught
her, but not until she had rolled down a fifty-foot incline
with the pack still fast to her back. Both she and the pack
were in a sad plight. Everything was dirty and wet, and
the mule wore a sad, faraway and battered countenance.
Her ears hung down and she looked tired and hungry. The
medicine bags were out of shapes, bottles broken, medicine
slipped, and things generally presented a disreputable
To get out of Urique is a difficult task. It is an almost
constant climb for many hours and is fatiguing to man
and beast. One may travel for hours and Urique will still
be in sight. Four hours after leaving the town it seemed
I could throw a stone back into the main street.
I exchanged the new mozo for the old one, and I ate
a breakfast of goat's milk cheese and tortillas, which had
been provided before leaving the patient's house.
Notwithstanding my saddle mule had proved a good one,
she was fallible, and I was in constant dread of the treach-
erous, wet tarils. They were well water-soaked, and in the
wet season many landslides, large and small, occur.
On the second day of travel, when I was nearing my
home, I had occasion to make a short curve around the
head of a gulch. A small slide had lodged upon the trail
and the mule rose upon it. The jostle, induced by the mule
jumping upon it, dislodged it and it resumed its downward
course. At first it moved slowly, but it increased in speed
as it passed down the steep incline. It was a ride uncoveted
and unique, and was fraught with danger to life and limb.
Strange to say, the mule stood stockstill and did not
seem to realize the situation in the least. But I did. I was
filled with dread, and as I passed along where the trees
leaned toward the gulch I seized the first limb which came
within reach, and I was left swinging in the air. With
great joy at my deliverance I climbed to earth again all
safe and sound. But the mule went down to the bottom like
a car with a broken steering rod, and broke her neck.
I climbed upon the pack mule, which had been coming
slowly on behind, and left the mozo to bring my saddle
T h i r.t y - N i n t h
"A STAGE ROBBERY"
On the west coast of Mexico the stages are called
"Dilligencias" and are of the old, old type of the last cen-
tury. They are drawn by ten mules, two of which are at
the tongue and eight are in front, harnessed four abreast.
They travel day and night, changing mules every fifteen
miles, and give about the only evidence of quick movement
seen in that section of country.
Down every slope and upon every level the driver
whoops, yells and whips the mules with a long keen lash
which he handles so dexterously he strikes even the most
distant mule in just the spot he wishes, and nearly every
crack brings the blood. The little animals travel under
constant fright and run as though escaping some unseen
monster. The second coachman plays the part of fireman
and he works harder than a man in a coal bin. He runs
along upon the ground, whipping first one mule and then
another, and strange to say he whips the most willing mule
the most. Through him and the driving coachman the
mules are soon forced into a run. Then the second coach-
man springs upon the stage step and remains there until
it is necessary to apply his inhuman torture again.
The stages constitute the Government mail trains and
they take passengers, but are not particular whom they
transport. When the rainy season begins the stages cease
to operate and the mail is carried upon the backs of mules.
I once climbed into one of these stages at night. I could
not distinguish my fellow-passengers, but I soon knew
there was something radically wrong. A vile odor almost
felled me at the stage door, but I got in and took a seat.
Looking around I observed a man completely covered up,
only his eyes were exposed to view. The man frequently
placed his head again the back of my seat, and sometimes
rubbed his head against my back. This was not conducive
to comfort, so I placed a handkerchief over my face and
leaned forward out of reach of the man and went to sleep.
Although I did not dream of the invalid, my nap was cut
rather short. I was awakened by the intensity of the
stench. The curtains of the stage had been drawn down
on account of the cool night breeze, and the sick man had
removed the coverings from his face. Like a frightened
squirrel I climbed to the top of the stage, where I remained
among the trunks and valises until a stop was made for
Everyone got out of the stage except the invalid, and
it was seen that he was a leper. His fingers were twisted
and knotted, his face was out of shape and sloughing, and
he presented a sight at once hiedous and pathetic.
There were American and Mexican passengers on the
stage and when I explained the nature of the disease from
which the man was suffering the Mexicans threatened to
shoot the despised wretch if he did not leave the stage.
I remonstrated strongly. I said they would no doubt
confer a favor upon the poor creature if they would kill
him, and they probably would never be interfered with by
the law, but it would be a cold-blooded murder for which
they would be held accountable by their God. The proper
authorities had accepted the man's money for his seat and
he had an equal right in the stage with anyone else. It
was their privilege to leave the stage if they cared to do
so, but they had no right, moral or otherwise, to molest
The passengers were pacified for a time, but when the
stage reached a strip of wooded country a few miles from
the breakfast house the Mexicans forced the leper from
the stage. They tied the poor creature to a tree and made
the driver urge the stage mules away as fast as they could
go. The unfortunate afflicted man was left to whatever
fate might befall him.
"As ye sow, so shall ye reap," and it was not long before
those cruel wretches reaped in part their reward. But the
reward was not commensurate with their vile deed. They
were only in a measure repaid for their evidence of man's
inhumanity to man.
The country was infested with ladrones, and before the
stage emerged from the skirt of timber in which the leper
had been left it came to a sudden halt. A dozen guns met
the gaze of the men on the top of the stage as well as of
those within, and several voices cried "Hands up!"
The male passengers were all armed, but they knew any
faulty effort at resistance would mean certain death. The
surprise was as sudden as it was great, so all submitted
without a word. One by one they were made to get out
of the stage and were robbed of everything they possessed.
Then each in turn was stripped of every vestige of cloth-
ing and made to get back into the stage as nude as when
they first sprang into the atmosphere of existence. The
drivers were then given orders to take the stage away,
and they lost no time in doing so. The mules were promptly
urged into a run and were kept in a run until out of sight
of the hideous masks which hid the faces of the robbers.
Then the driver stopped the stage and gave each passenger
a few old newspapers to be used as clothing. He said they
were the only things the robbers would not take from him,
so he constantly went prepared for emergencies like that.
The papers were adjusted to the bodies of each individual,
male and female, as best they could be, and the stage went
rolling on down the road.
How impossible it is to describe the feelings of one
robbed upon the public highway under such circumstances.
Each individual sat in the stage as before, except that he
was neither barefoot nor shod, nor possessed of mineral
or metallic substance; and each was as silent as the tomb
of Hiram, the widow's son.
Julian Medina, a noted revolutionary robber of Mexico,
with three hundred armed men, demanded the surrender
of a mine at which I was engaged as physician, There
were but four Americans at the mine at the time, Messrs.
Hordly, Mitchell, Neal and myself. A hasty council of war
was held. Each of the little group said fight, but the
manager of the mine thought the mine might be better
protected by a compromise, and it was agreed that an
attempt at compromise would first be made. Failing in
this, a fight would ensue. The bandits were notified there
was no such thing as surrender, but that they might
approach the gate for parley.
The gate was a part of a rock wall ten feet high which
was built around the store, office, dormitory, restaurant,
etc., for protection. In each corner of the rock fence there
was a tower which reached six feet above the fence. There
were peepholes in each of the four sides of each tower
through which one might observe the four directions — in
fact, in every direction — and a lot of shooting could be
done through them if necessary.
General Del Toro, of the Mexican Federal Army, was
stationed four hours away from the mine, which means it
would require four hours for a man to cover the distance
in a walk.
Del Toro was notified of the approach of the robbers,
and he promised to pursue them at once.
I and two of the Americans stationed ourselves in three
of the towers, well prepared to fight, and the manager met
the robbers at the gate. They came down from the high
mountains and could be seen a long time before they
reached the mine. They came in groups of twenty or more,
each group being in advance of the other about seventy-
five yards. They were in single file and the leader of the
first group carried a blood-red flag about four feet square.
The trail led within fifty yards of my tower and just across
a deep gulch where the road had been blasted out of the
side of the stony gulch. I was dressed in white and could
be plainly seen, as I had opened to full width every aper-
ture in my tower. As soon as the robbers were opposite
my tower they saw me, and every man except the flagman
fell from his horse, hid behind the rocks and pointed his
gun at me.
I threw my rifle to my shoulder and pointed it at the
flagman, the only one who did not dismount. We had
agreed not to shoot unless at some one who might attempt
to scale the back wall, so I resisted temptation, which was
very great, and held my fire notwithstanding I momentarily
expected the group to fire on me. It was truly a soul-trying
moment, but it did not continue long, for as suddenly as
they had dismounted they mounted again and made all
haste to reach the gate. They came in a run, whooping
any yelling like so many demons from hell.
Having reached the gate, they demanded that it be
opened. The manager refused the demand and they threat-
ened to dynamite it. "I will open the gate," said the man-
ager to Julian, the chief, "if you only will come in. I am
"All right," said the chief. "Open it. I promise."
The gate was opened and the chief stepped in, followed
by one and then another until the manager attempted to
"No, you shall not close the gate," said the chief, and
he said to his men: "Do not allow this gate closed under
any circumstances. Allow no one to enter, nor anyone to
pass out. Watch closely, and at the sound of the first gun
you hear, kill everyone in sight and dynamite the whole
The chief and those who had followed him through the
gate were invited into the office, where a compromise was
made. They were to accept five hundred dollars in cash
and five hundred dollars in values from the store ; take all
horses and arms, except those of the manager, and rob the
Mexican citizens of whatever arms and animals they pos-
We were then. called from the towers and with ten of
the robbers entered the store.
The chief was a tall, thin, raw-boned Indian and wore
a hat not less than three feet across from one side of the
brim to the other. He perched himself upon a small box
placed upon a very large box and looked a veritable imp of
His Satanic Majesty.
The goods were being selected and ordered out by him.
In a facetious attempt at levity, with a sinister smile upon
his broad, brown face, he said to one of the clerks : "Give
me some handkerchiefs. I want two. One for my nose
and one for my eyes when I cry."
Immediately I said to him: "Chief, you would better
In a puzzled, yet astonished manner, he asked: "Why
should I take three? I said I wanted two handkerchiefs.
Now, why do I want three?"
"Well," said I, "you want one for your nose and one
for your eyes when you cry, as you say, and you will need
the third one to stop that hole General Del Toro is going
to put through your belly now very soon." I was momen-
tarily expecting the arrival of General Del Toro with his
four hundred well armed men. As soon as I had finished
my reply to the chief every robber in the store stopped
instantly as still as death and peered fiercely at me. For
a moment I feared I had spoken rashly and unwisely, and
there flashed before my eyes a picture of myself blind-
folded and standing before a firing squad. For a moment
a pin could have been heard to drop. The moments were
strenuous, and it was a relief when the chief turned away
with a forced smile and told his men to go on with their
work. General Del Toro with his one hundred majority
never did come.
Later another band of robbers came, and they killed
Hordly and Mitchell and stabbed Neal five times in the
back, but he escaped and recovered.
At one time I was physician to a mine far up in the
mountains of the State of Jalisco, Mexico. I occupied a
house alone, down in a large gulch, which received its water
from many others and poured it into the Santiago River.
My residence adjoined my office so it was convenient, if it
was dangerous, to reside outside of a ten-foot rock fence
which had been erected for the protection of the Ameri-
cans who were employed at the mine.
Some of the Mexicans employed by the mining com-
pany became discontented at having 2 per cent of their
earnings appropriated by the company to the support of
the hospital department, and it was supposed they at-
tempted to destroy that institution. At any rate I was
aroused one night, about the hour of twelve, by the most
terrific explosion I had ever heard. Half stunned by the
shock, I brushed the trash from my face, which had fellen
from the ceiling and the walls.
I believed it was dynamite and must have been meant
for me. Momentarily I expected another blast which would
transport me to the land of the sky.
I thought of my gun and I recalled the fact that I had
left it within the rock wall, where I had taken it three
days before when the mine was visited by robbers. I also
thought of my pistol, but it had been left in my office,
and to get it I would have to go out to my house, so I was
absolutely defenseless. I quietly slipped from bed and
peeped through the door and window. Seeing nothing and
hearing nothing, I returned to bed fully expecting another
blast. I got back into bed firmly believing it would be
my last effort at limited rest. The moments were indeed
trying and it was some time before I went to sleep again,
but I did, and when I awoke in the morning I found a hole
in the ground in front of my door which told clearly the
tale of the night.
The dynamite had been thrown from the hillside where
the road zigzaged up the mountain above the house, and it
was thrown with such force it escaped the house, passing
just above it and reached the ground in front of the door.
There was a hole in the ground which showed the power
of dynamite. Concussion had dangerously riven the walls
of the house and broken the panes of glass.
The manager of the mine urged me to sleep within the
rock fence, but I refused to do so, and I remained one
month more in the same house.
"LOOKING INTO MAUSER RIFLES"
In company with a gentleman I went up into the Sierra
Madre Mountains of Mexico to examine machinery which
had been left in my care, and which was for sale. It was
an abandoned mine in a desolate region far from any occu-
pied habitation of any kind. There was a rock wall lying
between the machinery and the abandoned houses of the
mine. The wall was covered with vines and hid the houses
from the view of any person who might be at the ma-
We heard the familiar sound of blankets being flapped in
the air to rid them of moisture or dust, and we also heard
low whistling and voices. We had been told that Vecinte
Real and his band of thirty robbers had depredated on the
day before and had gone up into those mountains. During
the mentioned depredation Real had cut the soles from the
feet of a Mexican farmer, cut off his ears, made him walk
over rough stones and then shot him. Then the band
sacked the house and carried his two daughters and his
pretty wife up into those mountains. It is the ladrone
custom to take women in this way and retain them until
they can secure others.
When the noises alluded to were heard I proposed to
peep a little and learn who the persons were, but my friend
did not agree with me.
"For God's sake, no," said he. "Let us finish our work
and get away as quickly as possible. Do nothing to let
them think we know they are here." At that moment we
were startled by the command:
"Lavantan sus manos!" (Lift up your hands!)
We threw up our hands as we turned around and we
looked down the throats of fifteen Mauser rifles which
rested on the fence. Each iron throat seemed to gap to
the fullest extent, and they resembled six-inch boiler flues.
We knew any antagonistic movement meant death, so we
obeyed every command. We held our hands up until we
were robbed of everything we possessed, except our clothes.
We were then told our hearts would not be taken be-
cause we could not replace them, but such as had been
taken might be replaced. For that small courtesy we were
very grateful, and we raised no objections when we were
told to "Irse a pia." (Hike on foot.)
Our horses, of course, became bandits.
"RESCUING A MINE MANAGER"
Notice was received at a mine in Mexico, where I was
engaged, that twenty-one bandits had sacked a mine far
up in the mountain heights, and the one white man living
there, who was managing the place, had taken refuge in
the tunnel of the mine and was held there by the bandits.
Six Americans, two from each of three neighboring
mines, went to the rescue, and it required a hard all-night
climb to reach the place. Mr. Kelly and I represented one
of the mines.
During the first two hours the Sanitago River had to
be crossed. We went over in a boat and the horses were
jumped into the water and the chance taken of getting
them again on the other side of the river. After all of
the horses had been recovered except mine, I started out
alone in the dark to search for it.
There was a small village on that side of the river, just
a few shacks — "huacals" — occupied by abettors of bandits
and frequented by roving bands of robbers. There was
just starlight enough for me to see the outlines of large
objects. Feeling my way through the brush which hid
the houses from view I was tripped by a wire and thrown
violently to the ground. I really believed I had been
tripped by bandits, and as I fell to the ground I resigned
myself to what seemed to be the inevitable. But the wire
was that of an abandoned fence.
I saw a light in the distance and I wended my way to
it. Around the light, which was a fire in front of a hut,
I encountered the most brutish-looking body of men I had
ever seen. I promptly told them I had been sent there
in search of a horse by a body of Americans who were on
that side of the river quite near by. I said this because
I knew no Mexican would commit a vile act if there
seemed any possibility of a comeback. They never offer
an affront or resent an insult publicly. Their method is
bushwhacking, pure and simple. A fair fight is never seen
in Mexico, but assassinations are numerous.
Those at the fire, unshaven and unshorn, denied having
seen the horse and I passed on, but I saw the horse tied
to a tree some distance from the house, and I took it down
to the river, saddled it and proceeded with the rest of the
The lone man's mine was reached just at daylight, and
the six of us rushed into the little village at the mouth of
the mine, from six different directions, with gun in hand
ready to shoot at anyone in the garb of a bandit.
The bandits had heard of our approach and had fled.
It is astonishing how they communicate with each other.
They seem to learn of every coming event, no matter how
secretive others may be.
On returning with the rescued man on the following
night our party was accompanied by a party of frightened
Mexicans who were taking advantage of American protec-
tion to get into a safer land. From six, our party had
increased to twenty-three.
Mr. Richards, who was one of the party, and I were
better mounted than the rest and because of the fact that
a cavalcade cannot travel faster than its solwest horse, we
found ourselves far in advance of the rest of the crowd.
The trails are so winding through those lofty mountains
and gulches one cannot at times see a man behind him
even if no more than fifty feet to the rear. As we were
in advance of the rest we decided to push on a little faster,
and have something to eat prepared at a house which had
been passed as we went up the mountain. We pushed
along with some haste, and it was not long before we dis-
covered we were lost, notwithstanding it was a brightly
moonlit night. We retraced our footsteps for a great dis-
tance, and not encountering our friends it was sure they
had left the trail. It was certain the crowd had turned
from the road Richards and I were on.
We stopped our horses and Mr. Richards whistled, but
there was no response. Then he whooped, but only the
sound of his voice was lost in the distance. Then he gave
a mighty yell, but there was no reply.
Recalling the fact that two shots fired in quick succes-
sion was the hunter's call, I fired my pistol twice in the
air. No sooner had I done so than we were greeted by
a rain of bullets. The missiles flew over us as thick as
legs on a centipede, and many were uncomfortably close.
"There they are," said I. "Let's ge to them as quickly
as possible. They surely have encountered bandits."
"Let's get down and walk," said Richards.
"No, I am no pedestrian. I'll stick to my horse," I
replied as we rode in the direction of the firing, believing
our friends were between us and the bandits.
Upon entering an opening, that is, a place where there
were no tall trees, we saw the body of a man above the
bushes, which were as tall as his horse. I covered the
man with my gun and asked who he was.
"I am a good man. Please do not shoot me," said the
fellow. He stated he was on the way to a house just below,
but as there was a fight there he would not go. He was
offered five dollars to show the trail leading to that house,
because it was believed the lost crowd was there, but the
man refused. Then, in order to induce him to show the
trail, and without dreaming I was even in part telling the
truth, I told the fellow there was no fighting; that friends
were shooting to let us know where they were. The man
believed the story and led the way down to the house.
To my great amazement, our whole party had taken
refuge behind a rock fence and had fired in every direc-
tion, thinking, they said, that Richards and I had been
How easily we might have been killed by our friends!
"A SUGGESTIVE NOTE"
Where mines in Mexico were not more than four or
five hours apart I usually had the medical care of several
at the same time.
One morning while passing up the mountain which laid
between my habitation and the mine I intended visiting,
I found a note pinned to a leaf which hung over the trail
in such a manner it was impossible to pass without seeing
it. I took the note down and read it. It was written in
Spanish and when interpreted it stated: "Do not go up
this hill today. If you attempt it you will never reach the
I handed the note to a mozo, who had asked permission
to accompany me over the mountain and was riding close
behind. The mozo read the note and turned pale. He be-
seeched me to turn back. This, of course, I would not do.
I told the mozo he might return if he cared to do so, or, he
might ride a distance behind me and in the event of trou-
ble he could fly for his life.
I took my gun from the scabbard, put in shells heavily
loaded with buckshot, placed my pistol in front of my body
where it would be in full view, and proceeded up the moun-
tain. I was followed by the mozo in the distance. The
poor devil had actually vomited from fright.
All foreigners went armed in the mining districts, not
for the purpose of using them but to prevent their use, as
no one will attack an armed man in Mexico.
After a short time two men were seen on the trail,
quite a distance in front, but they were near enough for
me to see that they wore the characteristic three belts.
A bandit usually wears three belts, one around the waist,
one slung over the right shoulder passing around the left
side, and another over the left shoulder passing around
the right side.
The trail was tortous and led up to and across a diminu-
tive plateau called "The Saddle" because of its striking
resemblance to a saddle. The mountain rises to the right
and to the left as do the cantle and the horn of a saddle.
The distance between me and the bandits grew less and
less and when they reached "The Saddle" they separated,
one stationing himself at either side of the trail about fifty
feet from it.
I rode between them with gun in hand and watched
them both by changing my eyes quickly from one to the
other. Not a word was spoken, nor a movement made,
No Mexican ladrone will take chances. He must have
absolute advantage or he will do nothing. Preparedness
in Mexico means safety, except from ambush.
On the return trip I was accompanied by Mr. Beard,
the manager of the mine I had visited, and his mozo. That
manager had been recently kidnaped and a ransom of five
hundred dollars paid for his release. Just before reaching
the top of the mountain we were met by a man coming in
a swift run. He threw up his hands in horror and begged
us to return to the manager's mine. He said there were
six bandits at a spring on the trail who swore no man
should pass that way. Through fright the man had nearly
run himself out of breath. He was a picture of despair,
but his condition was not contagious. I said to the man-
ager just what I had said to the mozo in the morning:
"We have just as much right on this trail as anyone else,
and if you will come on I will lead the way. I will ride
a distance in advance of you, and your mozo will ride some
distance behind you. In this way we will be safe, at least,
in less danger."
We proceeded on over the mountain, through "The Sad-
dle" and down on the trail in the direction of the spring;
I led by fifty yards and the mozo was fifty yards behind
the manager. We were each prepared with gun in hand
for anything which might develop on the way. Momenta-
rily we expected to meet the bandits, or to be fired upon
from ambush, but there was no one at the spring, nor was
anyone encountered on the trail.
Evidently the bandits had seen our guns, which declared
readiness, and they had hidden in the brush. We were
too widely separated for ambush. The bandits might have
killed one of the party, but the chances were that one of
them would be shot by the others, and enither desired to
be the one shot.
"AN EVENTFUL NIGHT"
Nearly all men traveling in Mexico on horseback take
along a mozo, a Mexican valet. I preferred traveling alone
for the reason the average mozo wil stop for conversa-
tion with every peon he meets, and cause delay. Again,
he will divulge ones movements, which places one at a
great disadvantage in avoiding bandits, with whom the
mozo may be in league..
By a long rope I always led an extra horse, well
equipped. By changing horses occasionally I could make
faster time, and should one be shot from under me I might
be able to mount the other and advance. The long lead
rope was used so as to separate the animals as much as
possible and avoid the possibility of one bullet putting both
out of commission at the same time.
When traveling it was my habit to stop at some village
early in the afternoon and have my animals cared for just
as though I intended to remain in the town for a length
of time. After midnight I would arise from bed and pre-
pare for the continuance of the journey. Then I would
call the hotel mozo, who sleeps just within the front door,
the only door to the building; that door through which all
men, mules and horses, dogs, hogs, fowl and provender
must enter. I would then hire the mozo to saddle my
horses, mount one of them and lead the way to the suburbs
of the town and place me in the road leading to the next
Leaving Las Penas, a town on the coast of the State of
Jalisco, at three o'clock in the morning, and being placed
in the road leading to San Sebastian, I dismissed the mozo
and proceeded on my way.
About four o'clock in the morning my horse fell sud-
denly to the ground, turning a half somersault. He re-
mained upon the ground with his tail where his head should
have been. But I did not fall. I just walked on over the
horse's head as he went down and I was out of the way of
the animal's hips before they reached the ground. I
thought the horse had been tripped by a rope stretched
across the road, or had been lassoed around the front feet
by bandits. Such has been many times done since the
days of "Liberty," which means to the average peon, privi-
lege to rob.
I stood alone in the black darkness of the night, and
unarmed. I was helpless against any attack by man or
beast. My pistol and gun were on the saddle, and a few
moments of anxiety passed like moments under a surgeon's
knife without an anesthetic. To procure my arms was a
desideratum, so I moved over to the horse, which was still
lying upon the ground. I secured my pistol and being
assured the horse was neither roped nor injured I forced
it to rise notwithstanding; its reluctance to do so.
Becoming convinced the fall was the fault of the horse,
I mounted the other animal and led the one which had
Proceeding on the journey, the road led through a dense
jungle of many miles in breadth. Through this jungle it
was necessary to pass in order to reach the foothills of the
mountains beyond, in which the town of San Sebastian
It was still very dark, and the darkness was intensified
by the foliage of the underbrush and trees. Tigers, Mexi-
can lions, panthers, wolves and many small animals abound
in this jungle, but I dreaded most the two-footed beasts
that wear sandals and bear machetes, or cheese knives.
At a moment when my thoughts were deeply engrossed
in the possibilities in store for me before reaching the
foothills, if indeed I ever did, I was struck upon the throat
and jerked backward until my head struck the root of the
horse's tail. Suddenly I raised my chin to the fullest ex-
tent and whatever it was which had caught me by the
throat glided over my face. In an instant I arose to a sit-
ting posture in the saddle and at that same moment the
horse sprang forward at a pace greatly pleasing to the
Whatever the offending thing was I never knew, but
the impression of a rope was deeply stamped upon my
When the mountains were reached and climbed for a
time the horse which had brought me safely through the
jungle was exchanged for the one which had fallen. That
horse was a good climber, but he turned another somer-
sault and dislocated my wrist.
"THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM"
I was making a lone trip from Guadalajara to Tepic, in
Mexico. As usual, I was on the trail at night. I believed
it was safer- to travel at night than in the day because if
bandits should hear me coming they would not suspect that
a lone stranger would be traveling at that hour. They
would think I was proceeding others and would allow me
to pass with a view of getting those who might be in my
wake if not in superior numbers. At any rate, that was
my view of things, and I did much riding at night, not-
withstanding I was frequently admonished, to discontinue
it. General Del Toro, a Federal General, once said to me:
"Doctor, I want to make a request of you."
"All right, General. What is it?"
"I want to ask you, if not for my sake, for God's sake
to stop riding around this country alone as you do. There
are hundreds of men here, in fact, you see men every day
of your life who are gonig to kill you at the very first
opportunity if for nothing more than to say, 'I killed a
Gringo who was not afraid to ride around by himself.' "
The term "Gringo" is applied to Americans by Mexi-
cans in derision. They do not know that the word means
any person in a foreign country the language of which he
cannot speak. A Mexican is a Gringo in the United States
if he cannot speak English.
As straws show which way the wind blows, the Gen-
eral's simple request shows the bent of the Mexican mind.
He knew his people. He knew that many consider it a
Christian duty to kill an American; that is, if there is no
chance of himself being injured at the time. He well
knows if he escapes he will never be sought, caught or
prosecuted by Mexicans.
I started on the journey to Tepic at the hour of mid-
night. . I had not gone far from the village at which I had
passed the first part of the first night out, when I saw
a crowd of men in the road in front of me. They appeared
to be engaged in earnest conversation, as they were rather
closely grouped. I could see clearly that they were men
and that some of them had dismounted, but I could not
distinguish their habiliments, so could not determine
whether they were bandits or not. As it was rare for a
band of men to be out at that hour of the night, unless for
dire or devilish work, I believed they were bandits. I was
prepared for emergencies. It was my custom to be ready,
especially when traveling at night. My gun was loaded
and laid across my lap. I raised the gun in front of me,
placed my finger on the trigger and moved slowly on,
watching every movement of the men as best I could. I
bore to the right of them, so that in passing I would have
the muzzle of my gun pointing in their direction. When
I was within thirty feet of them I discovered they were
teamsters of a wagon train. The front wheel of the fore-
most wagon had fallen into a hole and the teamsters had
all advanced their mules that their combined strength
might extricate the wheel and allow the wagon to proceed.
I passed on by the wagons and just at the dawn of day
I saw a long line of Mexican grass shacks along the side
of the road. It is a common thing to see such shacks bor-
dering the roads in the suburbs of the towns. I stopped
my horse as still as possible that I might be certain I was
not mistaken; that I was not dreaming. The houses were
certainly moving. But houses cannot move, so they were
not houses. If not houses, what under heaven could they
be? I began to fear I had "bats in my garret" and was
seeing things. I thought of Don Quixote de la Mancha,
the windmill, the herd of sheep, the dishpan helmets and
many other things equally as extravagant, and I was in-
deed puzzled. While in this distracted mental attitude the
things came nearer, and I could see that they had legs and
were walking. Thus the mystery was solved. Great stacks
of hay had been bound about the bodies of mules, as only
Mexicans can do, and the only parts of the animals which
could be seen were their legs and feet.
"POISONED WHILE CROSSING THE MEXICAN
I arranged a pack train at Chihuahua, Mexico, and went
across the Sierra Madre Mountains toward Topolobampo,
on the Gulf of California. My sole companion was an
Indian guide with whom I could not converse, as neither
of us could speak the language of the other. We camped
alone every night in the desolate fastnesses of the moun-
tains or in the suburbs or center of the towns.
The days were passed in admiration of the beauty of
the scenery and the nights in blissful slumber disturbed
only by the rain and the cry of a wolf, the scream of a
panther or a Mexican lion. The trail was narrow, tortuous
and dangerous. At times it passed through belts of mag-
nificent tall pine timber and at others through a vastly
The first night was spent in a sparsely timbered sec-
tion, without house or tent. The sky was clear, the
weather cool, and everything indicated a pleasant night
and an early start in the morning. But the scene changed.
By midnight it had grown cold and was raining. Not like
a waterspout, but just one of those steady, searching rains
which sink deeply into everything and finds ones very
The moon and stars were gone and blackest darkness
surrounded the mules, which had been allowed to wander
in search of grass for their supper. Grass was all they
had, and all they would get throughout the entire journey.
The rain was so annoying the Indian rekindled the fire
at about two o'clock in the morning. Everything was wet,
and could be no worse if moving along the trail, so I de-
cided to move on. I sent the Indian after the mules, and
after a two hours' search he returned without them. He
was given food and sent back to the search with instruc-
tions, pantomimically given, not to return without them.
Without a word the man wrapped himself in his blanket
and drew it across his mouth as was the Indian custom
and disappeared in the darkness.
Many and weird were my thoughts as I sat upon my
wet trunk in a cold rain at the dead of night, alone in a
foreign country, in a section inhabited only by wild beasts.
Would the Indian find the mules ? Would he find them
and drive them away, never returning, unless with some
old pals to rob or do worse? But what nonsense to worry
about such things! What is coming will come. What is
yours you will get. In this life one has to accept what
comes one's way, and it is puerile to wish such things as
have already happened were otherwise. Does a zebra
regulate the stripes of his hide ? Is he not born that way ?
Does any man regulate the color of his eyes, or his form?
Are orators, singers, violinists, pianists, Edisons or Fords
born, or are they made? Could any of these successful
men make a success of any other calling ? I do not believe
they could. Could anyone make a world's champion chess
player out of an imbecile? Did the blind imbecile, negro
boy "Tom," make himself one of the greatest piano players
in the world at seven years of age by practice? Could
Christ have escaped his death on the cross? I think not.
I was a strong believer in the statement of the Koran
that "There is a fatality hung about every man's neck,"
so I had no fear; nevertheless the hours, under the circum-
stances, were long and dreary. The rain continued to fall,
not heavily but continuously. Just that tantalizing, driz-
zling rain that the Bible has likened unto a contentious
When the hour of ten in the morning had arrived I had
lost all hope of seeing my Indian or my mules again, and
was planning to walk back to the railroad. I rose to my
feet in contemplation of the situation and I heard the
usual Mexican words of persuasion applied to mules, "An-
derle Cabrones !" so in less than half an hour I was on the
trail again. The rain continued four days and nights. We
cooked and ate and slept in the rain. The nights were
spent in wet bjankets and the days in wet clothes.
On the morning of the fifth day when I had about come
to the conclusion the rain would never cease, the sun burst
forth suddenly and shone in all the effulgence of its glory.
It drove away the few specks of cloud that were loath to
leave the firmament and filled all space with transcendent
radiance. It infused new life into everything. The ani-
mals stepped lighter and lifted their feet as though tread-
ing in midair. They stretched their necks to full length
and di ] ated every nostril as though to draw in the glory
of the hour. The few birds of the mountains chirped with
gladness and flitted from bough to bough as they vied in
cheerful song. The trees seemed to unfold every fiber and
spread their drooping branches to catch every ray that
sprang from the shining sun.
The Indian had complained of the slowness of the mules,
but now they were willing to go; but being of flesh and
blood, they grew tired after a few days more of travel and
it seemed necessary to exchange them for others. When
the town of Choix, in the State of Sinaloa, was reached a
definite arrangement was made with a Mexican for large,
strong mules, as no others could carry my baggage. The
mules were to be ready for a start at eight o'clock a. m. of
the following day and were to reach the town of Fuerte
by eight in the afternoon, the hour at which a train would
leave for the gulf coast.
At the appointed hour there were neither man nor
mules in sight. At an hour so late it was impossible for
the man to fulfill his obligations he appeared with a lot of
little, ratty mules, thoroughly inadequate, and they were
of course rejected. The Mexican claimed he had been
badly treated and demanded one-half of the agreed price
of the journey for his trouble and loss of time. Upon
refusal to be bled by the Mexican, he went away in search
of a policeman, swearing he would have me placed in jail
if I did not pay the amount demanded. Instead of a police-
man, the fellow returned with a Judge. They had planned
a private court trial in the street. The Judge investigated
a little, and told me I would have to pay the bill. But I did
not agree with the Judge. I knew I was in the right and
I had the courage of my convictions.
"I am entirely in your power," said I to the Judge.
"You are in authority here and may do as you like, but
I will never pay that man's bill."
"How much, then, will you give to settle the matter ?"
asked the Judge.
"Never a cent will I pay. If either of us is injured, I
am. I have been delayed in my journey and will lose
money. That man will not. I know you can put me in
your jail if you like, but I promise you I will rot there be-
fore I will pay that man one cent."
The bluff worked. There was a hasty conference be-
tween the would-be robbers and they went away, going in
different directions. They left me standing alone in the
street, and one more effort to bleed a "Grngo" was
The journey was continued with the original mules, but
progress was slow. During the afternoon I was strongly
attracted by bushes laden with beautiful red berries. The
sight of the fruit tempted me, and increased my fruit
appetite, which had not been gratified for many days. By
means of signs I asked the guide if the berries were good
for food. The reply was in the affirmative, but I would
not risk eating an unknown fruit until I had induced the
guide to eat of it first, but the guide either did not eat
what he placed in his mouth or I indulged too freely, be-
cause in a brief space of time I became deathly sick. I
could scarcely sit upon my mule, but the guide sauntered
along behind me singing in a tone which indicated happi-
ness, but sounded as though a great way off.
A peculiar sense of nervous excitement stole over my
entire frame. I dismounted, laid down upon the ground
and wished for a stomach pump. I could not vomit. Even
a bunch of hair from the mule's tail in my throat failed to
bring back the berries. The poison was being absorbed
into my system. I knew it well, but could not prevent it.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon between the ground
and the saddle, and was forced to go into camp at an early
hour. I retired with scarcely strength to remove my
dothing, and the guide had to remove my boots. I was
dizzy and weak. My flesh tingled, my muscles cramped
and my breath came quick and short. My head was hot
and my eyes seemed to protrude from their sockets. My
temples throbbed and with a bounding pulse my feet and
hands were cold. I knew I was undergoing a radical
change, but was free from pain. I felt assured I was go-
ing to die, but I feared nothing.
It seemed death would be no more than the changing
of an old suit of clothes for a new suit. There are regrets
at parting with an old suit which has adjusted itself to
the kinks and knots of one's frame, and there are pleas-
ures in the wearing of the new. As a new suit adjusts
itself to one's frame and becomes comfortable, just so I
believed it would be with the new state into which I was
about to pass. The end seemed near at hand, and with a
conscience clear I awaited the call to the judgment bar.
A drowning man, after the first pang of pain caused
by water entering the lung, realizes he is dying, but it too
comfortable to wish to return. Just so it was with me.
I felt that I was passing away ; that I was losing conscious-
ness, and I did. Without a twinge of regret I passed from
the scenes of this life into that state unknown to me. In
an instant I seemed to pass the pearly gate which leads to
the throne of God. I knew the gate had been opened for
me, but I could see nothing. All space was of a garish
brightness. The dazzling light which emanated from the
throne was so transcendently bright I was totally blinded
by it. My eyes seemed like large metallic balls heated to
a white heat, yet they did not burn. I seemed to stand on
nothing. There was nothing above, below nor around me,
and the feeling was that of being surrounded in illimitable
space and a brightness inconceivable.
While in this condition I heard a voice which pro-
nounced the word "Doctor" very distinctly. I listened
intently for a repetition, but it did not come. It seemed
I had heard the voice while on earth, but I could not place
it. I realized that I could not speak, but I made a desperate
effort to respond and my eyes came wide open. The Indian
guide had called me to say that the sun was shining in
Dame Nature, the best doctor of them all, had come to
my aid and eliminated the poison from my blood while
asleep, and I was as well as ever before.
"FARM, FOOD AND FILT"
Instead of pack trains they often use in the level west
coast section of the Republic of Mexico large carts* with
wheels made from planks nailed together and sawed round.
Sometimes the wheels are sawed from the trunks of large
trees which grow near the coast. These carts are drawn
by oxen yoked as they were in the days of Christ, and
they use the same long-shaft wooden plow with one
handle. The yokes are lashed to the horns with rawhide
strings and the whip is a sharp metallic-pointed prod. Just
where Christ left them he would find them today, and they
seemed destined to remain in this primitive state for a
long time to come. The motto of the peon is : "What was
good enough for my father is good enough for me." In
most things they cannot be induced to change. They are
infected with the microbes of leisure, pleasure and drink.
The salvation of that country lies in the abolition of tequila
distilleries, which furnish a good old drunk for three cents ;
enforced education, small holdings without a right to sell,
and a free and full exercise of religious liberty.
As a rule the average laboring Mexican or peon is not
under the ban laid upon the man in the Garden of Eden,
for he never sweats to earn bread. He grows fruits along
the streams and in the wet season he plants a few beans
and a little corn.
The mountain farming is carried on in some places so
steep that men have been known to attach ropes to their
bodies to prevent them from falling out of the field. A
watermelon or a pumpkin would roll until it burst to pieces
in the Valley below, should it become detached from its
moorings. The crops require — at least they get, but little
attention in the form of labor. Peons chop down the
bushes, make holes in the ground with a crowbar and put
in the grain. When the corn is about two feet high they
cut the bushes again with machetes and this completes the
tilling. They have then only to gather the crop to com-
plete the year's labor, and the yield is abundant.
Of course this statement does not apply to the whole
country, because there are many large and profitable farms
in the Valleys and more level country, and it is from these
sections that the great agricultural products of the country
are produced. The conditions above mentioned apply only
to the mountainous country, which constitutes an exten-
sive area. If the mountains of Mexico could be leveled by
drawing them out to sea, Mexico would be so near to China
one would be able to see the wooden shoe on the compressed
foot of the Chinese damsel from the window of the adobe
shack of the bigotted stiletto bearer. .
The peon class in Mexico lives in grass, stick, adobe or
rock houses, according to the circumstances, and a few of
the rich live as do the poor. Chickens, pigs, dogs and peo-
ple often occupy the same house and live quite socially
together. They have so little furniture that when they
wish to move all they have to do is to call the dog, pour
water on the fire and go.
However, Mexico is a rich and wondrous country. It is
rich in climate, minerals, timber and farm lands. It is
wondrous in its topography, its height of mountains, its
depth of canyons, and the peculiar course of its rivers.
Rivers change bed annually in some places and spread over
miles of country, while in other places the same river flows
through canyons so narrow and deep that the sun shines
upon the water not more than two hours a day. One may
shoot a deer on the opposite side of a canyon and it would
spoil before he could reach it. A bird shot dead while fly-
ing in the mountains may fall so far away it would require
a whole day to get it.
The continuous change and grandeur of the scenery in
the mountains create a natural panorama which is so
pleasing to the eye the body fails of fatigue.
The greatest obstacle to travel in that country is the
scarcity and limited variety of food. Conditions change
for the better in the level country, but clean, palatable
food is rare. Sanitation is unknown. There is no dread
of flies, hence food is seldom protected against them.
Articles exposed for sale, positively black all day with flies,
are bought and eaten with the same relish as though fresh
from the vine or pot. Every home is a separate enclosure,
in which they use the surface closet and a hog for a scav-
enger. When the hog is fat they eat him and get another.
If it was true that man dies when he eats a peck of dirt,
no peon would live long enough to cut teeth.
The average peon is like a blanket. He shrinks from
washing. It is an undeniable fact that many of them go
for years without taking a bath or washing their faces.
Even the women, who are much more cleanly than the men,
refuse to allow water to touch them when they become
sick, no matter what disease they may be afflicted with.
They entertain the insane idea that if one washes even his
hands while ill, recovery is impossible.
"MEXICAN BAILES OR BALLS"
A Mexican "baile" or ball is attended with features
peculiarly characteristic and differing widely from those
of any other country. The music is pretty, catchy and
fills one with enthusiasm for the dance, but it is so fast
it is almost impossible for one not accustomed to it to
dance by it. Sometimes two bands play and the music is
incessant; the one takes up the refrain from the other and
gives the other a time to rest. When a couple wishes to
talk, or rest from the dance, they just cease dancing and
walk around the floor in the direction the dancers go.
When they care to do so they join in the dance again. In
this way a couple may remain together throughout the
entire evening, and the only comment will be that they
are "Novias," which means "Sweethearts." No one will
interrupt a couple while upon the floor, so one is safe from
molestation by other fellows as long as one can keep his
girl from sitting down. No man cares for the no via of
another man, if the other man is around.
The most pronounced feature of a baile is the drinking.
There is no ball without a bar, and a bountiful supply of
things to drink are always on hand. That statement is
true so far as an experience of ten years on the west coast
of Mexico can testify.
In the border towns things are different. Their inhab-
itants are more Americanized.
A grand carnival ball was given at the Governor's Pal-
ace and I attended it by invitation. The ballroom was
large, brilliantly illuminated and gorgeously decorated.
Palms were everywhere and vines hung in festoons of rare
design, the whole being interspersed with electric lights
of varied colors and form. The cardinal feature of the
decoration was a display of the national colors, and the red,
white and green were so artistically interwoven as to pre-
sent a scene free from fault. The music was entrancing.
The women were handsome; some were beautiful — thanks
to the three "P's" — paint, powder and perfume. The men
were^ stylishly dressed and seemed as courteous as men
At ten o'clock the dance began and all went well until
about the hour of midnight. At that hour many were
drunk. And why should they not be? There were three
well-regulated places supplying drinks of every kind and
several men served at each place. Besides this, there were
men who took trays with glasses and bottles all around the
room and insisted that everyone should drink. They mixed
drinks, the strong with the weak, and brandy straight went
down female throats with as little discomfort as attends
water in a rain barrel. Soon many were incapacitated for
the dance, and at the daylight hour some were seen wab-
bling in the streets as gracefully as an empty bottle in
At a ball in the town of Mocorito I was presented to a
novia by her own request, she having expressed a desire
to dance with me. I declined at first, but being of a mind
to try anything once, I danced with the girl. When she
arose to join me her "Novio," who was sitting with the
family, told me to bring her back to him when I was
through with her. When we had made one round of the
floor, the novio, valiant fellow, met us with a cocked pistol
in his hand, which he had obtained from the cloak room,
but it was taken from him by force before he had an oppor-
tunity to use it. Who he intended to shoot may be inferred
from the fact that on the following morning I was told the
fellow had followed me to my room in the hotel with a large
machete in his hand.
The peons have neither wood, brick nor cement floors
to dance upon, so they dance upon the ground, often under
brush arbors. As is the case with the higher classes, drink-
ing is the main feature of the dance.
A dance was given to the workmen of a mine and there
was no place for giving our drinks, so men walked through
the grounds with demijohns of mescal, a famous native
drink, under their left arms and funnels in their right
hands. They put the funnels in the mouths of men and
women and poured in what they thought right for the
time. They began the dance early in the evening, and be-
fore midnight everybody was drunk, many had been
knocked down, and the dance was over. Those who were
not asleep upon the ground were rambling in the streets
like so many boats without rudders.
It is necessary to obtain a license to give a dance, even
in one's own home, in Mexico. There is a twofold object
in it — revenue for the mayor and protection for the people.
A part of the money is paid to extra policemen to protect
the dancers against themselves. This sounds preposterous
to one uninitiated, but it is well understood by those who
have attended dances in the interior of Mexico.
I attended a dance given to the mediocre at a village
in the State of Durango. It was a small town in the moun-
tains on the Fuerte River. I rode several miles on mule-
back and crossed the river in a boat. I had been invited
to dinner and the dance was to be a surprise. On account of
this I did not take thin shoes — things very~necessary to my
comfort at a dance. A dress suit would have been as much
out of place as hair on a billiard ball. I telephoned for my
pumps, but when they reached the river it had risen and
was flowing with so strong a current no boat could live
in it. The party who had given the dance was little less
than a King in that section of the country. He had re-
cently sold a mine for two hundred thousand dollars and
was liberal in the use of his money. It was he who had
given the baile at which the demijohns figured so con-
spicuously. The little King ordered a peon to swim the
river for the shoes. I plead against such hazard, but it
was of no avail. The order had been issued and must be
obeyed. The man's order was as the mandate of the Pope.
The peon secured a piece of log about six feet long,
bored a hole near the end of it and drove a peg into the
hole. Holding to that peg he jumped into the river and
in less than an hour the pumps were upon my feet, which
were moving to the sweet strains of music from a good
The entertainment was continued three days and nights.
Dancing and drinking were the features of the occasion, as
usual, but the table must not be forgotten. It was laden
with the best of everything obtainable in the country, and
there was a large crowd to enjoy it. Everything was ele-
gant. The purest of silverware, beautiful cut glass and
the finest foreign China. There were rich napkins of
exquisite drawnwork, but they were neither changed nor
laundered during the three days of entertainment. After
each meal they were gathered in a large basket and just
before each meal they were distributed around the table.
One may have gotten the same napkin twice, but if he did
it was not known. This is a custom peculiarly Mexican.
As has been said, nearly everybody drinks on the west
coast of Mexico, and it is no disgrace to get drunk, no mat-
ter what circle of society one moves in.
Music and mescal are the usual means of announcing
success in that country. When a man has made an un-
usual deal in any line of business he employs a band, gets
drunk and strolls from grog shop to grog shop spending his
money freely. He treats everyone who will drink with him
and he usually gathers a large crowd of followers. He
continues the orgy, day and night, as long as he can pos-
sibly hold up, and then he lies down to sleep off the alcohol
and dream of happiness to come.
"SOCIAL CONDITIONS IN MEXICO"
Mexican society is divided into three distinct classes —
first, second and third; and the lines between these three
classes are as distinctly drawn as they are between the
rich, the common people and the negro in the United States.
There are in Mexico persons as highly educated, pol-
ished, refined and pure as can be encountered in any quar-
ter of the globe, but they are few, very few in comparison
to the great horde of Spanish-Aztec mixtures, which con-
stitutes the great bulk of the population. The peculiar
customs of this mixed blood people pervade the whole
In Mexico no two persons of opposite sex ever have an
opportunity of conversing unheard by others, except on
a ballroom floor or clandestinely. No mother will allow
her daughter, or any girl under her protection, to be alone
with a man, no matter who he is, unless he is her father
or brother. There must be a chaperone, and sometimes
several of them. For instance: When I first went to
Mexico I invited a young lady to attend the theater with
me. She accepted the invitation and when I called for her
I found her mother and several brothers and sisters all
dressed and waiting. Instead of a couple of seats I had
to buy a box, and it was well filled. I never made that
Every habitation is a fort, with one entrance. Fowl,
beast, provender and the people all enter and leave through
the same door. Every residence resembles a jail. Every
window is grated with heavy iron bars and it is through
these grated windows that the young folks do their court-
ing. The construction of the houses speak louder than
words as evidence of the absolute lack of confidence Mexi-
cans have in each other. Well, they know each other best.
Every town, even those of but a few hundred inhabit-
ants, has a public plaza, and everybody goes to the plaza
on Thursday night, Sunday afternoon and Sunday night
of every week. They go for exercise, and to see and be
seen. It is there they splurge in all their finery, paint,
perfume and powder. A girl seen on the next day without
her artificial plumage would not be recognized. All men,
except when accompanied by a lady, walk around the plaza
in one direction and the women in another. In this way
the sexes are brought face to face.
When a man sees a girl who strikes his fancy he learns
who she is and locates her home. Then he will go day
after day and walk in front of her house, or hang himself
up against the wall on the opposite side of the street for
hours each day and gaze at her as she sits in the window
observing what goes on in the street. It is a time-honored
custom to sit in the window, as the residences are built up
to the sidewalk just as the business houses are, and there
are no porches.
After many days of patient watching and waiting for
some sign of recognition, and failing to get it, the young
man gives up in disgust and goes away. In case he is
recognized he goes over to the window, introduces himself
and engages the girl in conversation. He stands upon the
outside and "plays bear" with the girl behind the bars.
No young man is permitted to visit a girl in any other way,
and there is always some one besides the girl, though us-
ually out of sight, to hear what the man says. It is a sad
commentary on conditions, but it is a warm country and
the climatic influences may justify the precaution.
If the girl at the bars accepts the man's proposition to
marry, he will send a committee of friends to the father
to ask his permission. Then comes a long, weary wait, for
it is considered vulgar to reply promptly, and many times
the father's decision is not known for months. If they
agree to live together without marrying, she will leave the
place clandestinely and go to him. If the father's reply is
in the affirmative the suitor is allowed to enter the house,
but he never sees the girl alone until after the marriage
ceremony is performed.
In a great measure a woman's pleasure ceases when she
marries, because she is buried in the tomb of her own home
and subjected to a jealous surveillance which is as con-
tinuous as it is painful. Divorces are not given in Mexico
except for one cause, but those who do not marry often
A woman will not speak to a man first, even after he
has been presented to her. She will stare him out of coun-
tenance on the street or anywhere else, but the man must
speak first. Mexican society is indeed unique. I once
asked a man at a dance if a certain other man was not
related to him.
"Yes," was the prompt reply. "And we have the same
mother and the same father, too." But he did not confess
that there were half brothers, from both sides of the house.
A great many of the parents of large families are not
married. They simply live together and raise bastards,
and the bastards move in the best of society, if they have
To be really and fully married in Mexico one must be
married twice to the same woman. Religion and State were
supposed to have been separated by Benito Juarez, but it
is not so in practice. A priest will not marry a Catholic
to a Protestant without a special dispensation, and if there
is any way to avoid it he will. The church does not recog-
nize a civil marriage, nor does a church marriage alone
without a license satisfy the law.
According to the Roman Cathlic Church every man and
woman who is not united in marriage by a priest is living
in adultery, and their children are bastards.
It is true, ceremony cannot bind hearts. If not bound
by God the binding will rust. No law can compel a man to
live with a woman if he does not wish to, nor a woman to
live with a man if she does not choose to do so; nor can
any law, which does not deprive one of liberty, keep man
and woman apart if they both clesire otherwise.
It is love that binds in happiness. It is love which
causes one never to tire of those small things so often neg-
lected because they are small, yet which are as necessary
to happiness as existence itself. These small courtesies
blunt the thorns of human existence. They soften the
nature of recipient and donor, and weave cords of love
which bind like chains of hardened steel. They are like
condiments to a tasteless meal, and are stronger links in
affection's chain than greater acts. They fix the respect
of man, a thing far more difficult to retain than to gain.
Love comes but once to every soul and is a creation of
God. It is incorruptible and indestructible. Once the
genuine flame is kindled, it never ceases to burn. Neither
fire, wind nor wave can affect it. It is as endless as the
cycle of the earth. It is a fixture within one's brain and
breathes in consonance with every pulsation of the heart.
It is an electric union of souls and the current flows from
soul to soul throughout all time, no matter how widely
they may be separated.
Fascination is a very different thing and comes fre-
quently to one. It is of the earth and emanates from the
carnal nature of man. It is destructible, deceptive, and
leads man astray. Man is like a ship that weathers many
a storm and goes down in one less severe. The power is
not given man to resist temptation with equal force at all
times. Fascination exists for a time, apparently as strong
as love, but it will inevitably vanish like snow under a
noonday's sun. Those linked together by mere fancy are
to be pitied. A distinction between the two states, love
and fascination, is often extremely difficult, and one may
be mistaken for a time, but the truth will out. It is rea-
sonably certain that a man who really loves a woman, and
desires her for a life companion and the mother of his
children, will have too much respect for her to lead her
into any conditions where cruel criticism will be the least
of her rewards. He would shield her good name as he
would her life. "Kill my dog, but do not give him a bad
name." A woman should be constantly on her guard. The
first insinuation of familiarity by a man should be met
with a slap in the face, or a parting of the ways. If he
really loves he will return, but if not he will cease from
following after her, and her loss will be her gain.
The continuance of an early love is the only hope of
real happiness to an old man. Women usually are fond of
children, and old men of young men, but no one cares for
an old man who feels the weight of years.
While woman causes many a man to lose his equanimity,
it is particularly so in Mexico. No man's life is safe if he
receives marked courtesy from a man's wife or sweetheart.
All along the public highways in Mexico there are rock
piles which mark spots where men were made to yield up
the ghost, and almost invariably from jealousy, that child
of distrust. As it is the exception which makes the rule,
there are exceptions to this rule, but they are few.
A lawyer who was at one time a Judge, and resided in
Culiacan, quite near my hospital, was out riding with me.
We came to a rock pile and I referred to it.
"I wonder who killed that fellow?"
"I killed him," said the lawyer.
"Why 'did you do it?"
"That fellow was a robber and we had him in jail in
the village of Culiacancita. One night we went down and
took him out. He asked why this was done at night. I told
him it was cooler traveling back to the city of Culiacan at
night. When we reached this spot he said it was no use
to go any farther if we were going to kill him. I agreed
with him, and he was stood up against that fence and I shot
him. I killed fourteen while I was Judge."
I knew of many a man being killed in Mexico, but no
attempt at murder was ever made if there was any possi-
bility of defense. Open combat is never known there. Did
the reader ever think of the bravery of a man who shoots
another when his hands are tied behind his back? Of
such is Mexico.
"THE VERA CRUZ EPISODE— "NEW YORK TO
Upon the day American soldiers landed in Vera Cruz
in 1914 a veritable hell was created in Mexico for Ameri-
cans. The naturally murderous blood of the Mexicans was
fired to a high point, and it is a wonder Americans were
not massacred. Many of my personal acquaintances were
butchered like rats, just because they were American's
President Wilson's opinion that President Huerta, the man
who prevented wholesale murder of Americans, was an
usurper and must be suppressed, brought about the taking
of Vera Cruz, which proved a farcical and costly episode.
I was in Guadalajara at the time of that deplorable
event. Immediately circulars were spread over the west
coast country which stated that Mexico was actually at
war with the United States ; that every town on the border
had been captured except El Paso; that the prisoners at
Fort Bliss had killed eight hundred American soldiers, and
that with the arms and ammunition of the dead they were
marching upon El Paso, which would inevitably fall; that
Villa had united with Velasco, and that one hundred and
fifty thousand Mexican braves were tramping over Ameri-
can soil and the cowardly Americans were running like
dogs. "God was with Mexico and she would win."
As I walked along the street I overheard conversations
in which men were urged to shoot me. "Now is a good
time to begin, shoot that fellow," they said. Men cried
wildly that "Every American man, woman and child should
be placed in the penitentiary and blown to hell with dyna-
mite the moment a Mexican was injured in the States."
Americans were forced from carriages and the drivers
threatened with death if they took them in again.
Danger grew so imminent the Americans housed in the
Cosmopolitan Hotel in Guadalajara. Attempts were made
to overcome them and abuses continued until Mr. Percy
Holmes, the British Consul, urged all Americans to come
to the British Consulate for protection, as there was no
safety for them anywhere else. They accepted the invita-
tion and there was never another demonstration against
them while there. What a stimulant it was to American
patriotism to see the American Consul and his people
trembling under protection of the British flag. Great
Britain enforces respect for her subjects.
Through the influence of the British Consul the Gov-
ernor of the State permitted a train to take the Americans
to the port of Manzanillo, where they might find means of
escape from the country. The use of the train was only
granted under the guarantee that American soldiers would
not return to Guadalajara in it. The Governor thought as
did the Americans, that soldiers had been or would be
landed at every port of Mexico.
Before the train was out of sight of the city of Guada-
lajara the Americans were adroitly divested of their be-
longings, without any suspicion of what was really being
accomplished. Men in the uniform of Mexican army offi-
cers entered coach and coach and said to each passenger as
they approached him or her:
"We have been placed here that no harm may befall
you, and we have been ordered for your protection to take
up your valuables, give you a receipt for them and return
them when you reach Manzanillo." They told me they
were out of receipts, but would hand me one in a few mo-
ments, but I never saw it. Neither receipts, valuables nor
those officers ever reached Manzanillo. As soon as the
process of military skinning was over the train was stopped
and the officers and plunder disappeared in automobiles
which were in waiting, and it was not until then that the
Americans began to look wise and lament. It was one of
those foxy tricks so frequently played in Mexico.
The train made its next stop in the town of Chacualco.
A howling mob had gathered and the Americans were
greeted with a whirlwind of the vilest abuse capable of
expression in the Spanish language. The extent of abuse
was inconceivable and must have been heard and under-
stood to be believed. Every villainous throat swelled to
the bursting point with dirty epithets, and the slogan was
"Dynamite the train! Kill the Gringoes, the cowardly
Gringoes! Allow no one to escape!" And shower after
shower of mud, sand and sticks were thrown through the
train windows. A large American flag was trampled un-
derfoot, cursed, torn into strips and burned and the ashes
thrown through the windows of the car.
When the train reached Manzanillo it was ten o'clock
of the next morning. The women and children were per-
mitted to go aboard the German freight ship "Maria,"
which lay in the harbor laden with Chinese men who were
not permitted the land.
The men of the American party were placed in a room
at the wharf, where they were held until six o'clock p. m.,
and they became advised that dynamite was under them,
in readiness for an explosion in case an American gunboat
should appear in the harbor. Soldiers, and citizens between
soldiers with fixed bayonets, frequently appeared at the
door and abused the Americans in a manner solely deserved
by the vilest of criminals. They well knew the Americans
were disarmed and defenseless. It was evident they wished
to provoke some sort of resentment which could be con-
strued into an excuse for a holocaust. No American ship
appeared, so I and my companions were permitted to go
aboard the ship where the women and children of the party
were awaiting with much anxiety.
The Chinese were placed aft of the ship and the Ameri-
cans were given the forward deck, and they slept in the
forward hold in suspended canvas bunks. The Americans
numbered two hundred and fifty-four and the Chinese two
The ship's supply of food was limited, but she was not
allowed to replenish even with water. All hands were
placed on two meals a day at half rations. At meal times
they were lined up on the deck and the food was passed
down the line. Each helped himself with his fingers and
ate with an appetite seldom experienced by man.
The ship reached San Diego, California, laden with the
most august body of paupers ever seen, many of whom had
been worth thousands of dollars. Most of them had lost
everything they possessed. I had left a handsome array
of office fixtures, a complete library and instruments suf-
ficient for all demands. My household and kitchen furni-
ture was in keeping with the furnishings of the office. I
had but three hours' notice of the hour to leave, so I locked
the door of the house and handed the key to one whom I
had been pleased to call a friend. Some time after reach-
ing the States I was notified that all of my belongings had
been stolen or destroyed.
At San Diego the entire crowd was cared for by the
Red Cross. Each member of the party was given a ticket
to whatever point he or she wished to reach, and money
for food while en route. I went to New York.
I reached New York City with the hope of obtaining
employment by some drug house, but there were no open-
ings. Day after day I tramped the city in search of em-
ployment, but found none. I had saved a little of the
expense money given by the Red Cross, and with that I
was paying for an attic hall room and the little I had to
eat. I was too proud to accept aid except it be as remu-
neration for service performed. I had accepted from the
Red Cross, but that was gathering bread from the waters
upon which it had been cast. I was as full of ambition as
any young man, but the realization that I was growing old
was forced upon me by meeting an old, grey-headed man
whom I used to know as a gay young swell. From my
personal feelings I could not judge of my age. I felt as
young as ever. But the spirit never grows old. It is only
the flesh that grows weak. One's joints rust out as do
the hinges of a gate that swings against the vicissitudes
of time, unless life is terminated by disease.
Every hope of gaining sufficient funds to establish my-
self in Florida, where I had a license to practice medicine,
seemed to vanish like morning mist under a summer's sun.
But never daunted, I searched with all the more vigor for
employment, and each night I retired with swollen, aching
feet from the unusual walking I had done.
At last a ray of hope came. It was a request from a
wholesale drug house for a descriptive pamphlet of a new
combination of medicines they were putting on the market.
On the evening of which I had spent my last nickle for
a plate of soup I handed in the manuscript. It was accepted
and with the money thus gained I reached Brownsville,
Texas, with fifty cents left in my pocket. There was not
a soul in the town whom I had ever seen or heard of before.
My object in going to Brownsville was to recross the
border and return to Guadalajara, because all avenues of
support seemed closed to me and I would as soon risk be-
ing killed in Mexico as starve to death in the United States.
But I found all communications were severed and reaching
Guadalajara was an impossibility.
The average Mexican entertains the idea the United
States wishes to enevelope his country. American greed,
so constantly preached into him by the more enlightened
classes, intensifies his prejudice. He is prejudiced to the
extent of a deep-dyed hatred which wrangles in his trou-
bled breast, and is as ineradicable as the propensity of a
wolf to steal.
It is believed by many that the root of the difficulty
lies in the loss of that territory lying east of the Rio
Grande, a claim to which the Mexican will never renounce.
He is jealous of the United States because he is inferior
in education and industry. The country is overshadowed
by an almost helpless outlook in that they, the majority
of the inhabitants, being ignorant mixed Indians, do not
want to improve.
The average Mexican is a selfish egotist who delights
in the expression, "I am a Mexican. This is, of course, the
result of his little learning, which is the father of his ego-
tism. Egotism is like a certain shell of the sea which is
only found in shallow water.
Strange to say, the unfounded idea of American impe-
rialism has increased, notwithstanding the admanistration
of President Wilson should have led to the contrary belief.
Certainly the Wilson policy has shown the United States
to be the best friend Mexico has today. There were griev-
ous errors in his dealing with Mexico. His unprecedented
leniency has increased the Mexican hatred because it has
been construed into fear, and even a coward hates a coward.
On many occasions well-educated Mexicans have told me
the United States would never dare enter war with Mexico
because she knew too well the victory would be to Mexico.
Could any other expression stamp a country more forcibly
with its ignorance?
The erronious opinion exists that the result of the
World War has disabused the Mexican mind of the sup-
posed American fear and impotency. Well, perhaps it has
to some extent, but the masses in Mexico are not familiar
with America's part in the World War. It is not a ques-
tionable statement to assert that a large percentage of
those who would do the fighting in time of war do not yet
know there has been a World War.
The existing revolution and recent revolutions grew
out of the near state of bondage in which Mexicans, espe-
cially the lower classes, were held. The foot of diaz had
been upon the neck of the Mexican more than thirty years.
The majority were practically slaves to the few. A laborer
could not leave the man who employed him if he owned
him anything, and it was sure no hacienda would let a man
get out of debt as long as he wished to keep him on the
place. In the cities the peon is a beast of burden. He car-
ries everything upon his back — pianos, stoves, hay, coffins,
corpses and everything else. A delivery wagon is a rare
sight even in a city of an hundred thousand population.
During the regime of Diaz no one dared open his mouth
against the Government. If a question was asked about
anything derogatory to the Government the shrug of a
shoulder would be the only reply. Any derogatory state-
ment would result in the disappearance of the man. He
would be taken to Mexico City and would never be heard
President Madero was a good man. His heart was in
the right place. But he conceived the idea his people had
reached a stage of intelligence which would assure their
being ruled by moral suasion. He was not long in finding
out his great mistake.
The Indian nature asserted itself, and the Mexican, who
is but a part Indian, construed the liberty for which Ma-
dero fought to be privilege to rob, murder and rape. Bands
were organized all over the country, consisting of from a
few to several hundreds, which roved at will and robbed,
raped, murdered and burned in the name of liberty.
It is quite safe to assert that between 1910 and 1914
there was not a ranch or hamlet in the Republic which
was not sacked either by revolutionists or federals. The
federals soon adopted the schemes of the rebels and there
was but little if any difference between them.
Thousands of foreigners were robbed and hundreds
killed, particularly Americans and Spaniards. Some were
butchered because they resisted desecration of their prop-
erty or person. Many were killed just because they were
Americans. The Mexican knew there would be no redress.
He had come to know his acts would be considered "local
incidents," no matter whether it was the murder of an
American or the wanton desecration of the American flag.
The damnable policy of "watchful waiting" cost many
a good American his life.
"MAJOR IN THE MEXICAN ARMY"
In sheer desperation I crossed the Rio Grande and united
with the Mexican Army as a Major in the field hospital
service. I was placed as second in charge of a hospital
train which carried a guard of eighty mounted men, a
corps of male and female nurses and spring wagons for
The Villistas, or revolutionists, were in control of Mon-
terrey, and the railroad had been torn up by them as far
south as Remones, a distance of thirty miles. It was in
the territory between Monterrey that the spring wagons
Whenever a night was passed in the country the hos-
pital caravan was driven into some field and a strong guard
placed at the gate, but no guard was placed at any other
point. Anyone could pass in or out just so they did not
pass through the gate. At the gate signs and countersigns
were as religiously demanded as though the back and sides
of the field were guarded by an impenetrable wall. I tried
to instruct and discipline the guard, but soon abandoned
the task. I could as easily have taught sheep to sing.
In every town where a stop was made there was a hos-
pital established in the Catholic Church and horses were
stabled in the side rooms. Wounded men were brought
from the front in ox-wagons, or anything else which could
be obtained. Many times a day and a night would be occu-
pied in reaching the hospital, and during that time no sem-
blance of first aid was given. For this reason, and the
love of adventure, I went to the firing line and I was the
means of saving some lives which otherwise might have
On one occasion there was a little fighting when the
Colonel, the first in command, was in advance of the hos-
pital department. He promptly returned, but he did not
stop at the hospital, not even to say "Follow me!"
It was certain he believed in safety first. The fight-
ing continued and the rattle of musketry came nearer and
nearer. At nightfall a General, who commanded ninety
men whom he had recruited and for which he had been
made a General, rode into the little village and commanded
the Captain of my hospital guard to remain for resistance
of the Villistas who were coming along behind him. The
General also told me to get my wounded out of the place
as quickly as possible.
In a short space of time the wagons were in line and
everything was in readiness for the retreat. Every few
moments a soldier would ride in with a bullet through some
part of his anatomy and he would be placed in a wagon.
One who was not wounded rode up to my side as I sat on
my horse back of the hindmost wagon ready to give the
order to advance. A sharp crack of a rifle was heard and
the mount of the man at my side fell dead, and the rider
rolled under the wagon unharmed. It was thought the
bullet came from a houstop and was meant to relieve me,
the "Gringo' doctor, of my military duties, just because
I was a "Gringo," and the most satisfactory manner of
getting rid of a man in Mexico is to bury him.
I ordered a Lieutenant to arrest the perpetrator of the
deed, but he shrugged his shoulder and said, "Quien sabe
quien, Major?" ("Who knows who it was, Major?") and
that was the end of it.
The order was given to advance and the hospital on
wheels moved on. The Captain commanding the guard
must have forgotten the command of the General, because
he took the guard to the front of the wagons and disap-
peared with them as quickly as he could. He left me alone
to fight for the seven wagons of wounded men, if such
became necessary. The valorous guard was not seen until
the next day. I rode along with the wounded all night
and looked after their necessities, notwithstanding I was
alone and unarmed.
My Colonel had imagined urgent business at Remones,
but he did not stop there. He must be a telepathic physi-
cian and had read Villa's mind, for he crossed over to safer
ground around Victoria. One thing is certain, I have never
seen him since.
The wounded were entrained at Remones and taken to
the base hospital at Matamoros. There I simply "turned
them in," without formality of any kind. No written
orders were ever given me, nor did I ever give any in writ-
ing. Orders were verbal and often second-handed at that.
From Matamoros I was never able to return to the
front ; in fact, there was no front except at the trenches in
Matamoros. After a lapse of several days the Villistas
reached the battlegrounds at Matamoros and a fight en-
sued. The firing from the trenches was continuous dur-
ing the battle and was continued twelve hours after the
battle was over and there was nothing to shoot at but the
air laden with the groans of dying men and horses. This
procedure is characteristic. Through some mistake, which
I could never understand, the hospital train was taken up
to the trenches while the battle was at its height. It made
a special target for the Villistas and it was promptly per-
forated by bullets. Twenty-two bullets entered the car
used by me as an operating room, office and residence. No
one was injured except Major de la Vega, who was shot
through the thigh in passing from my car to his own.
The train was taken back to a place of greater safety,
but bullets continued to fall all around it.
While the battle raged I and Charlie Hill, an American
Captain nurse, went to the trenches on foot. We took
cover of a long line of freight box cars which had been
placed on a side track for the protection of the city. Bul-
lets penetrated the cars from side to side, in front, behind
and passed above us. Captain Charlie suggested we were
tempting Providence, but I persuaded him to believe if one
of those bullets was made' for him he would get it, but if
not, he might walk to the mouth of the rapid-fire guns
and not be scratched. There were Captains to spare any-
way. In the guard of eighty men there were twenty with
the rank of Captain, sixteen Lieutenants and three Majors.
When Captain Hill and I reached the trenches a few
wounded men were found and sent to the hospital in the
city, as the train hospital had been deserted by all but us
two. However, sending them was of no special advantage
because, unknown to me, every doctor in the city of Mata-
moros, military and otherwise, had fled to the American
side of the river.
When night came on Hill and I were the only occupants
of the hospital train. Hill watched bullets striking around,
and I lost myself in the pages of "St. Elmo" until midnight,
when I drew off my boots and slept upon the operating
table, as was my custom to do.
All firing ceased before the dawn of the next day, and
Hill and I went again to the trenches. We crossed over
the rampart and went among the dead and dying Villistas
One Villi sta was lying dead within fifty feet of the
rapid-fire guns, and another man was found fifty feet be-
yond that point with a bullethole through his thigh. Far-
ther on the dead were literally piled upon each other where
they had been mowed down by the rapid-fire guns after
leaving their horses, which had been held back by a barbed
wire fence. Those guns did not do the usual Mexican over-
head shooting. They were said to be manned by trained
There was no doubt in my mind that the city of Mata-
moros would have fallen to the foe had there been no wire
fences. The Villistas were drunk. Mexicans have to be
drinking to fight that way. A Mexican drunk knows no
fear. They have said to me, "Give me a bottle of whiskey
and a rifle and I will march to the cannon's mouth."
The few living Villistas found were ordered to the city
hospital, but the suffering horses were killed. A horse
was groaning piteously and I ordered a soldier to kill it.
I had given offense to my men by refusing to allow them
to kill the wounded Villistas, and it may have been for that
reason the soldiers gun was accidentally ( ?) discharged in
the direction of my unmailed body. The bullet passed over
me as I stooped low to the ground upon seeing the soldier
throwing a cartridge in the rifle with the muzzle pointing
directly at me.
The experience gained through my connection with the
Mexican Army is like the reading of a fairy tale which can
never be forgotten. Like some ludicrous dream, to think
of it is to laugh.
Mexico still needs another Diaz, but there are none.
Those capable of ruling have been wantonly butchered, or
driven from the country. Nearly all of the better class of
Mexicans have either left the Republic or been killed. The
human sediment has been prodded until it has risen to the
top and the whole face of the body politic seems hopelessly
Growing tired of the Mexicans' fruitless, puerile efforts
to establish a stable government, I recrossed the Rio Grande
and entered the United States Public Health Service, which
was transferred by President Wilson to the army estab-
lishment, and my deepest regret was that I could not trans-
fer to France.
"A VISIT TO A 'CHIRO' "
I was requested to, and did, read a paper on "Medical
Ethics" at a meeting of the Southwest Texas District Medi-
cal Society held in Corpus Christi.
On going from the hotel to the place of meeting I saw
several large signs, one of which was a painting of a human
spinal column. These signs were attracting the attention
of the public to the wonderful man, commonly known as
a "Chiro," who was claiming to cure all manner of diseases
from diphtheria to diplospondulism by certain spinal ma-
nipulations, these certain spinal manipulations being known
to all well-informed persons to by physical impossibilities.
My venturesome nature got the better of me and I
knocked at the door of the office. It was opened by a man
about forty years of age who proved to be the "Chiro."
It was a pleasure to me to see that he was no larger
than I and that he did not appear to be much of a sprinter,
so the following colloquy took place:
"Are you the doctor?"
"Yes. What can I do for you?"
"I am troubled with what the doctors call prostate.
Can you cure me?"
"I will first have to examine you to find out what your
troubles are and then I can tell you about the cure."
"What will the examination cost me?"
"Nothing at all. We do not charge except for treat-
"Will you hurt me any in the examination?"
"Not at all."
"All right then. Go to it."
"Strip yourself to the waist."
I climbed out of my clothing down to the belt and, obey-
ing a previous order, I sat upon a stool. The "Chiro" got
behind me and placed his fingers upon the south end of
my chime. He tickled me like all fun, but I did not dare
laugh just then. Almost instantly he exclaimed: "Ah,
here it is ! dislocation, or what we call sublaxation, of the
last lumbar vertebra. That accounts for the prostate. Now
we will look a little higher up. Have you never had any
kidney disease?" "I guess I have, because I often have
pain in my back, like frea bitings, you know."
The "Chiro" passed his fingers a little higher up my
back and exclaimed: "Here it is! A sublaxated dorsal
vertebra which presses upon the kidney nerve. Now we
will go on up. Have you had any heart disease ?"
"I sometimes have palpitation of the heart when I get
a little nervous. For instance, if I see a fellow who seems
to be getting the advantage of me in business, or even with
a girl, my heart flutters."
"Of course it will! Here is a subluxated cervical ver-
tebra which controls the action of the heart."
I thought that was about enough for one man, so I
stood up. I had been on my feet during the entire preceed-
ing forty-eight hours and had danced until after midnight,
and if I could do all of that with three dislocated vertebra I
was indeed unique. Of course I was sorry for myself,
though I never had been in better health in my life. But
I said to him :
"Doctor, I am in an awfully bad fix. Much worse than
I thought I was. Can you do anything for me? Can you
"I will be very candid with you, as we always are with
everybody. We never under any circumstances misrepre-
sent anything to anyone. I frankly tell you I cannot cure
you. But I do assure you I can relieve all of the causes of
your troubles and you will get perfectly well. When I get
through with you, you will not be well, but your spine will
be in perfect condition and you will be perfectly well in a
very short time. You see the bones, by repeated adjust-
ments, will be made to remain in place and then the dis-
eases will get well of themselves. Do you know anything
about the spine?"
"Not as much as I would like to know, doctor."
"I will show you," said he. And he brought out a verte-
bral column and went into a detailed description of sub-
luxations which seemed clear and wonderful to him but not
to a man who knew he was attempting to deceive.
"How much, doctor, will it cost me to get well?"
"What is your occupation?"
"Doctor, I was born on a farm."
"Oh, I thought you were an office man. It will cost
you twenty-five dollars for twenty-four treatments, taken
two or three a week."
"My! Can I get well of all these diseases for twenty-
"Well, you may have to take two courses of treatment."
"Even that would be great. Think of getting well of
three such diseases for fifty dollars ! That would be fine."
"You are right, it would. And there is no reason why
you should not be well. Do you live in the city?"
"No, doctor, I live in the country."
"You may come in any day you like for a treatment.
You may take one now if you wish."
"Doctor, I will just think the matter over a little. This
is so sudden, you know."
During the latter part of the conversation I was gradu-
ally leading him over to the door. When I reached it I
took hold of the knob and expressed my thanks to the fel-
low for his candor and said to him:
"There is just one thing more I would say: I have been
practicing medicine fifty years and this is the first time
I have had an opportunity to learn for myself what sort
of damned liars you fellows are." And I walked out of the
door, leaving Mr. "Chiro" a perfect monument of surprise,
as fixed to the spot as a cast iron nigger hitch post.
"AT A DOCTORS 5 BANQUET IN TE RIO GRANDE
Quite a lot of mirth was indulged in at the table, by
short talks and anecdotes by both local and visiting doctors.
I was called for and after getting off a few jokes on local
conditions and doctors I requested a full-grown lady and
a child to stand up by me, and I said:
"When friends meet around a festive table,
The time-honored custom, of all who are able,
Is to delve in hilarity and jest,
Each with ambition to rival the rest;
But it is befitting once in awhile
To indulge in thoughts too grave for a smile.
So let me divert, a moment or so,
By references to things you'd all like to know.
You do not know why you were given birth,
Nor how long you will remain on this earth;
From whence you came or whither you go,
Was never intended that you should know.
This life is but a narrow stream to span,
Today you're a child, tomorrow a man;
Then the far bank of that stream you must cross,
And you should do it without any remorse.
Your works will be writ on the public slate,
So do no deed unworthy of your state.
Ere you commit an act, reverse the case,
And put yourself in the other man's place.
Yesterday and today and tomorrow,
Each life will have its full part of sorrow.
Viewing us three, life's picture you will see
From which you may learn what your life may be.
We're a bud, blossom, a full-grown rose.
I was a bud, blossom, now a fading rose.
And from that fact, I've reason to suppose,
The time's not distant when my life will close.
But ere that occurs, let me impress this,
Time has taught me the only worldly bliss
Comes from a thing which every man can do:
Do to others as you'd have them do to you."
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